Brunei - Rise to power

Initially accepting his father as the power behind the throne, Hassanal Bolkiah gradually sought to take over the reins of government. By the early 1980s he was able to assert his authority. With the death of his father in 1982, Hassanal Bolkiah became the undisputed supreme authority in Brunei, and he enjoys almost absolute respect and loyalty from his people. The sultan shares his power with only a handful of close relatives. When Brunei achieved independence in 1984, Hassanal Bolkiah established a cabinet, naming himself prime minister and minister of finance and home affairs, and appointing members of his immediate family to other key government positions.

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