Emir: Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifah Al Thani
In 1995 armed forces commander and Defence Minister Sheikh Hamad seized power from his father, Sheikh Khalifah Bin Hamad Al Thani, who was out of the country.
The new emir survived an attempted coup in 1996.
Later that year, Sheikh Hamad tried to take his father to court for the return of state funds he believed his father had kept. The dispute was settled out of court.
Since coming to power, Sheikh Hamad has stayed on as head of the armed forces and defence minister and has overseen Qatar's military development.