The newest monthly brief from Foreign Reports is now available on the Middle East Policy Council‘s website. The topic: Prince Salman’s recent appointment as Crown Prince and Saudi Arabia’s First Deputy Prime Minister. Included are more details and analysis focusing on the Allegiance Commission that will one day offer the final say on who will be king. You can read the entire article by clicking HERE. And for those interested specifically in the Commission:
There have been no reports that the King assembled members of the Allegiance Commission as he did after the death of former Crown Prince Sultan last October. The Chairman of the Allegiance Commission, Prince Mishaal bin Abdul Aziz, is undergoing a medical check-up in New York according to the latest reports. On June 17, he received a number of other princes and top Saudi diplomats in New York who expressed their condolences. This may explain why the Commission has yet to meet.
The King is under no obligation to refer the appointment of a new Crown Prince to the Allegiance Commission, which he established in 2006. But when Prince Sultan died in October, King Abdullah assembled members of the Commission at his palace in Riyadh, where they swore allegiance to Prince Naif. He also took the opportunity to swear in two new members of the Commission who were chosen to replace their deceased brothers. In due course, the King can be expected to swear in sons of Naif and Salman to seats on the 34-member Commission, and eventually fill the vacancy created when Prince Talal bin Abdul Aziz resigned his seat in November 2011. (If any of these vacancies have already been filled, it has not been widely reported.)
Once these seats are filled by new members, the Allegiance Commission will be comprised of twelve sons of Abdul Aziz, the Kingdom’s founder, with the remaining twenty-two members being either grandsons or great-grandsons of Abdul Aziz.
If King Abdullah dies before Crown Prince Salman, who is thirteen years younger, the Commission would be bound to pledge allegiance to Salman as King. Thereafter, Salman could nominate between one and three candidates to become his Crown Prince after consultations with the Commission. If the Commission fails to reach a consensus on a nominee of the King’s, it may then nominate its own candidate for the King’s approval. In case the King does not approve of the Commission’s choice, the Commission is to hold a vote, with the next Crown Prince chosen by a majority of the members of the Commission.
Last year’s November bulletin, titled “Change and Succession in Saudi Arabia,” dovetails nicely with this one. I recommend reading both if you’re curious about recent changes–both big and small–inside the Kingdom.