Implications of the Saudi reshuffle

I examined in my last article the way King Salman bin Abdulaziz made sweeping changes in the Saudi royal hierarchy by issuing a set of 24 royal decrees at dawn on April 24. In this article I will examine the implications of these changes.
h2 Consolidation of the Sudeiri grip on powerh2 The first implication of the decrees is the consolidation of the grip of the and”Sudairi Sevenand” on the future line of succession in the Saudi royal family. The and”Sudairi Sevenand” is the name given to a group of seven full brothers who are sons of the founder of Saudi Arabia, King Abdulaziz al-Saud.
The most important stage in Saudi Arabia in ascending to the throne is the nomination of the crown prince. King Abdullah made an important step in institutionalizing the process of decision-making in the Allegiance Council, which makes the selection. and”The King nominates up to three candidates for the position of Crown Prince. The Allegiance Council then selects one of them as Crown Prince. If the Council rejects all of the Kingand’s nominees, it may nominate its own candidate. The Crown Prince will be then decided by a vote among the Counciland’s members,and” according to Abdulrhman A. Hussein.
This law was perceived as a step to diminish the influence of the Sudairi faction, so it could be easily outvoted in the council. But it did not work that way. When King Abdullah designated his half-brother Muqrin as crown prince in the event of his own death, he wanted to make sure that this appointment would not be revoked. He wrote in the royal decree that this appointment and”may not be modified in any way or form by any person, whoever it may be.and” Despite this firm safeguard, his half-brother, the new King Salman, revoked this appointment, removed Muqrin from his post and replaced him by his nephew Muhammad bin Nayef.
By eliminating Prince Muqrin from the post of crown prince, this post goes to Muhammad bin Nayef, another member of the Sudairi faction. With this subtle move, King Salman guaranteed that the first king of the second generation of successors will be a Sudairi. Unless there is an unexpected development in the course of the years, it will be natural to see in the future the Sudairi faction dominate the Saudi royal family.
We do not know yet whether King Salman will remove his nephew from the post of crown prince and replace him with his son Mohammed bin Salman. If this happens, the succession in the throne will shift to the descendants of Salman within the Sudairi faction. Even if this does not happen, Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is 26 years younger than Crown Prince Muhammad bin Nayef. Therefore, he may expect to become king after his predecessors complete their term.
h2 Implication for the Yemen warh2 Saudi Arabia has to emerge victorious in the Yemeni crisis or obtain a result that can be sold both to the Saudi and international public as if the air raids in Yemen were a justified move. If the operation fails or the stalemate continues for a prolonged period, there will be a bill to be paid by Mohammed bin Salman because he was the main party responsible for launching these raids. Therefore, he will do whatever it takes to justify his hasty and miscalculated decision because his future is closely connected to a great extent to the success of Saudi Arabia in Yemen.
h2Implication for US-Saudi relationsh2 Saudi Arabia has always maintained strong relations with the United States. Both Muhammad bin Nayef and Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubair are known in the decision-making circle of Saudi Arabia as people close to the United States. The Interior Ministry is important for its role in the fight against religious fundamentalism and the Foreign Ministry for a wide range of international and regional cooperation issues. After this reshuffle, the US may expect to have fewer problems with the Interior and Foreign Ministries in Saudi Arabia.
h2Concentration of powerh2 The reshuffle concentrates political power in the hands of the members of the and”Sudeiri Sevenand” and in Salmanand’s household within the Sudairi faction. Such a concentration leaves thousands of young and capable princes outside the decision-making circle. When the cake is big, the holders of political power may find a way to buy the allegiance of the discontent princes, but it will become more difficult to satisfy them as their numbers continue to grow.

SOURCE: Today’s Zaman