Analyst: Power Transition Greatest Challenge for Saudi Royal Family

Analyst: Power Transition Greatest Challenge for Saudi Royal Family

TEHRAN (Tasnim) – The most serious challenge facing the Saudi royal family is how to transfer political power to the third generation of Al Saud dynasty, as there are numerous princes who are vying for the throne of the biggest oil producing country, a Saudi analyst said today.

“Presently, (Saudi) King Abdullah and his brothers are at an impasse over how to transfer power to the third generation of their family,”  Saudi dissident analyst Hamza al-Hassan told Tasnim on Monday.

The octogenarian monarch who has been suffering from ill health for some years, has already outlived two of his crown princes, and the next in line to succeed him, Prince Salman,is 76 years old - not very old by Saudi royal family standards.

And as the analyst pointed out, some of the third generation princes, who may be dreaming of ascending the throne, are in their 60s and 70s. And dissension over ascension to the throne has a precedent in the country, al-Hassan added, as in 1964 King saud was deposed by his brother Faisal.

“Presently several different groups within the Saudi ruling family are competing for achieving the top political position in that country and among them those who have the army, security, and national guards’ forces under their command have managed to secure their own future and that of their offspring,” al-Hassan said.

Earlier on October 12 a Lebanese news network had disclosed that the Saudi King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz plans to transfer power to his second son, Mutaib Bin Abdullah, a move similar to the power transfer scenario in Qatar.

Al-Minar network quoted informed diplomatic sources as saying that Saudi King has removed senior military officers from Al Sultan family as part of a broader plan to pave the ground for his son’s leadership, a scenario similar to power transfer in Qatar.

In a voluntary transfer of power to his 33-year-old son, Crown Prince Tamim, the Emir of Qatar on June 25 emphasized the need for “young blood.” The move was unprecedented in the Persian Gulf region where dynastic monarchies typically only relinquish power on their deathbed.

Lebanon’s Al-Minar network had said in the report that King Abdullah’s move in putting an end to the influence of Al Sultan family in Saudi Army was the first step for laying the ground for inheritance type power transfer to second generation.

The Al-Minar had further reported that the Saudi monarch’s next move would be merging the Saudi Army and the Saudi National Guard (SANG) together and added that the military forces will come under the command of Mutaib Bin Abdullah.

The diplomatic sources have said that Washington is well informed about the entire details of the ongoing developments within the Saudi royal family.

The report added that Saudi King has informed the US officials that he is willing to pave the ground for his son’s leadership and the plan is in line with the already tested Qatari model.



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