The royal families in Malaysia chose Sultan Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah, ruler of the Malaysian state of Pahang, as the country’s new king on Thursday after the previous monarch abdicated the throne on January 6, AFP reported.

Malaysia is a constitutional monarchy with a unique rotational arrangement where the throne changes hands every five years between the rulers of the country’s nine states. Eight of the state rulers met on Thursday at the National Palace in Kuala Lumpur for a Conference of Rulers to select a new king. Sultan Muhammad V, who continues to be the ruler of Kelantan state despite having given up the national throne, was absent from the meeting.

Muhammad V, stepped down on January 6 after just two years on the throne following reports that he had married a 25-year-old former Russian beauty queen while on medical leave.

Ahmad Shah will take over the throne on January 31 for a five-year term, the Keeper of the Rulers’ Seal Syed Danial Syed Ahmad was quoted as saying by Channel News Asia. Sultan Nazrin Shah of the Perak state will serve as deputy king.

Malaysia’s new ruler holds key positions on sporting bodies, including the world football governing body FIFA. Ahmad Shah was expected to become the king, as the state of Pahang was next in line to provide the monarch. Ahmad Shah Became Pahang’s new ruler only on January 15 after his ailing father stepped down.