Saudi king names his son Mohammed bin Salman as crown prince, according to a royal decree published in state media early on Wednesday.
The first in line to the King, was Mohammad bin Nayef, the son of King Salman’s older full-brother. The Deputy Crown Prince has been Mohammad bin Salman (often referred to as MBS), the King’s 31-year-old son. MBS is not the King’s oldest son, and he has many older cousins. Now, the King has announced that MBS will become Crown Prince, meaning all the remaining sons of Abdul Aziz and a large number of the third generation of al Saud will be skipped over in favor of the King’s young son.
Royal order: Relieving Prince Mohammed bin Naif bin Abdulaziz Al Saud of his posts of Crown Prince, Deputy Premier and Interior Minister.
— SPAENG (@Spa_Eng) June 21, 2017
Saudi Arabia’s Allegiance Council voted 31 to 34 in favour of the changes, according to the state-owned al-Arabiya channel.
The Saudi king called for a public pledging of allegiance to the new crown prince on Wednesday, the channel said.
King Salman also appointed Prince Abdul Aziz bin Saud bin Nayef as interior minister, and Ahmed bin Mohammed al-Salem as deputy interior minister, while Dr. Nasser al-Daoud was relieved of his post and appointed as under-secretary of the interior ministry.
King Salman also ordered the appointment of Prince Bandar bin Khalid bin Faisal bin Abdulaziz as an adviser to the Royal Court.
The surprise announcement follows 2-1/2 years of already major changes in Saudi Arabia, which stunned allies in 2015 by launching a war in Yemen, cutting old energy subsidies and in 2016 proposing partly privatising state oil company Aramco.