Saudi King Salman has ousted the heir to his throne, Prince Mohammed bin Nayef, and appointed his son Muhammad bin Salman as crown prince in his stead. The appointment was approved by the allegiance council with a majority of 31 votes out of 34.
Saudi king ousts heir to the throne Photo Credit: Reuters/ Channel 2 News
Saudi Arabia’s King Salman, 81, has named his son, Prince Mohammed bin Salman, first in line to the throne. The appointment was approved by Saudi Arabia’s allegiance council with a majority of 31 votes out of 34 members just after midnight on Wednesday.
Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman will be replacing Prince Mohammed bin Nayef, the king’s nephew, who was in place to inherit the throne and who has now been stripped of his influential position as interior minister.
Crown Prince bin Salman meets with US President Trump Photo Credit: Reuters/ Channel 2 News
Bin Salman will serve as deputy prime minister while continuing to function as defense minister and head of the economic council. The Saudi allegiance council will officially appoint the prince as heir to the throne in a ceremony this evening (Wednesday) in Mecca.
The surprising announcement came after two and a half years of significant changes in the kingdom that began with the war launched by Saudi Arabia in Yemen, the cut in oil subsidies and the privatization of the national oil company Aramco. Primarily due to his father’s efforts to bolster his political authority, 31-year-old bin Salman was central to the country’s recent developments: He was responsible for managing the war in Yemen, he spearheaded the privatization of Aramco and initiated new energy policies for the kingdom.
Slowly but surely, under his father’s regime bin Salman has become the most powerful figure in the kingdom. Though sources in the kingdom have long estimated that bin Salman would rise in power, the sudden upheaval came as a surprise to many in the Saudi establishment.