News & Politics

Report: Saudi King Soon to Abdicate Throne to Son

FILE - In this Wednesday, Dec. 9, 2015 file photo, King Salman of Saudi Arabia opens the 36th session of the Gulf Cooperation Council Summit in Riyadh. King Salman outlined his foreign and domestic policy priorities for the coming year on Wednesday, Dec. 23, 2015, affirming that security and economic development would remain top concerns for his country. (AP Photo/Khalid Mohammed, File)

Within a matter of weeks, there may be a major shake-up in the Saudi monarchy, the Institute for Gulf Affairs is reporting.

According to “highly placed sources,” Saudi King Salman Al-Saud is planning to abdicate his throne and install his son Mohammed as king.

Mohamed [sic] bin Salman is the current deputy crown prince, second in-line to the throne, and defense minister.

King Salman, 80, has been making the rounds visiting his brothers seeking support for the move that will also remove the current crown prince and American favorite, the hardline Mohammed bin Naif from his positions as the crown prince and the minister of interior.

According to sources familiar with the proceedings, Salman told his brothers that the stability of the Saudi monarchy requires a change of the succession from lateral or diagonal lines to a vertical order under which the king hands power to his most eligible son.

The Institute for Gulf Affairs is a Washington, D.C.-based human rights advocacy group that monitors politics in the Middle East.

Their sources say “the king referred to the Jordanian monarchy that changed its succession order to eliminate transfer of power between brothers and moved it to a vertical succession order.”

This would mark the first time a Saudi king has willingly abdicated and seen his own son as king.

He would most likely be referred to as father king. A similar move was taken by the former Qatari ruler Hamed bin Khalifah AlThani [sic] who abdicated in 2013 and install [sic] his son Tamim in his place.

Although sources haven’t given a specific timeline for the abdication, the matter is expected to be concluded “within a matter of weeks.”