The Kingdom and the Power

(New York Times) Gerald Posner - The death of the octogenarian King Fahd of Saudi Arabia - incapacitated since a 1995 stroke - had been largely expected since he was hospitalized in May. Saudi Arabia has no formal procedure for succession, but Crown Prince Abdullah has effectively run the day-to-day operations of the government for the past decade and Fahd's death merely formalizes Abdullah's powers. Prince Sultan, the longtime defense minister and a brother of King Fahd, has been elevated to the title of crown prince. Yet Abdullah is over 80 and Sultan is in his late 70s. Thus, the potential crisis comes not with the post-Fahd succession, but upon Abdullah's death.

2005-08-02 00:00:00

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