Monday, October 23, 2006
King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia has promulgated a new succession law, but it sounds even less revolutionary than the usual Saudi reforms. Under the new plan, crown princes, and hence kings, will be elected by a body of certain members of the royal family. This will, in theory, lessen power struggles within the House of Saud, though I'm not sure how. Incidentally, not only will it not choose the crown prince for Abdullah - Sultan gets to keep that role - but it won't choose his heir either. In other words, the latest change in the Saudi political system is that a clique of princes will get to choose who comes after the next two kings. Many of the people named to the body could be dead by then.