Succession at the House of Saud: The Men Who Would be King

[ Independent-UK] Anne Penketh - With Saudi King Abdullah at 84, uncertainty is looming over the literally tottering House of Saud. Saudi Arabia's geriatric leaders are at each others' throats, circling like caged animals waiting for the first to die. Since Crown Prince Sultan, who is also in his 80s, returned in May from medical treatment in Geneva, there have been rumors that he is dying of cancer. Saudi Arabia, with its tradition of polygamy, is no ordinary monarchy where the succession passes to the eldest son. The Saud family boasts an estimated 7,000 princes. But it is split between the al-Sudairy wing and the more liberal al-Faisals. If all goes to plan, on Abdullah's death the throne would return to the al-Sudairy branch, which includes include Prince Naif, the Interior Minister, and the Governor of Riyadh, Prince Salman, who both have claims on the monarchy.

2008-06-20 01:00:00

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