Saudi King Salman has named 31-year-old son Mohammed bin Salman crown prince in place of Mohammed bin Nayef, who had previously been first in line to the throne. The King also stripped bin Nayef of his function as interior minister.
The newly announced Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is already the country’s defense minister, believed to be the mastermind behind the war in Yemen that has brought the country to the brink of a humanitarian catastrophe. He also leads an economic council aiming to boost the Saudi economy, and has made overseas state visits to Russia and the United States.
Bin Nayef was responsible for overseeing security and counterterrorism in Saudi Arabia, and AP reports that he has close ties to Washington.
According to a Wednesday royal decree, “a majority” of top royal members of the Allegiance Council backed altering the line of succession, with Saudi Arabia’s state TV saying that 31 out of 34 people voted in favor.
The Allegiance Council consists of sons and grandsons of the Saudi state’s founder, King Abdul-Aziz. They vote to choose the king and the crown prince among themselves.