Royal succession

Published: June 22, 2017
Mohammad bin Salman. PHOTO: REUTERS

Mohammad bin Salman. PHOTO: REUTERS

In determining the future path of royal succession in Saudi Arabia, King Salman has made an interesting and bold choice. The newly-appointed crown prince and heir apparent, Mohammed bin Salman, is just 31 years old and is the architect of the sweeping Vision 2030 reform programme that aims to take the Kingdom’s economy out of its reliance on oil. To the outside world, however, Mohammed bin Salman is better known as the Saudi defence minister who first built and then led a coalition of troops in order to challenge the rise of the Houthi rebels in the neighbouring state of Yemen — much to the relief of besieged President Abdrabu Mansur Hadi. He is also seen as the royal brains behind the loose Nato-style Islamic Military Alliance which is intended as a bulwark against terror groups such as the Islamic State and al Qaeda.

Until a few years ago, it would have been hard to foretell the meteoric rise of Mohammed bin Salman. But in a matter of two and a half years, he has begun to transform the old order and tailor it to the needs of the future. These changes, as can be imagined, involve the dismantling of outdated structures of governance. The pace of these developments has caught many people off guard.

Just days before the announcement, his predecessor, Mohammed bin Nayef, was stripped of his longstanding powers to oversee criminal investigations — a move indicating a possible change in the dynamics of political power.

In published remarks, Mohammed bin Salman has shared some of his vision with the rest of the world: he is keen to build a country where everyone is guaranteed participation in decision-making. The new crown prince has also come out in support of freedom of expression and human rights and though those do appear to be daunting goals, the Kingdom can certainly achieve the same under his tutelage.

Published in The Express Tribune, June 22nd, 2017.

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Reader Comments (5)

  • Feroz
    Jun 22, 2017 - 3:25PM

    In monarchies it is all about me and my son. Luckily unlike the Mughals the siblings are not killing or poisoning each other to reach the throne.Recommend

  • Ch. Allah Daad
    Jun 22, 2017 - 4:58PM

    In developing world there is hardly any difference between monarchies and democracies. Bottom line is that Crown Prince is a great visionary and a modern thinker. When Saudi Arabia changes, whole Islamic world changes with it. Recommend

  • Mirestan
    Jun 22, 2017 - 5:07PM

    Kingship and Islam, always same story, never honor real commitments. always bring son before anyone. real would be king is deprived. at least they are are not killing the rival. Islamic traditions. this is the truth. Time for democracy. abolish this king ship and slavery.Recommend

  • GKA
    Jun 22, 2017 - 6:45PM

    But will he challenge Wahabism – which is one the key props of the monarchy ?Recommend

  • bahadurkhan
    Jun 23, 2017 - 9:45PM

    millions of saudi arabians have college degrees from US/UK, some from royal family They are not found fit. King Salman is locally educated plus + royal family. Thus found fit . ?Recommend

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