In a major reshuffle, Saudi Arabia’s King Salman has appointed his son, Mohammed bin Salman, as heir to the throne of the home of Islam’s holiest sites.
In a royal decree, the former Crown Prince, Mohammed bin Nayef, a 57-year-old nephew of the king, was removed as next-in-line to the throne. He was replaced with Mohammed bin Salman, 31, who was previously the deputy crown prince.
The new change implies that barring other changes, the 31-year-old will assume the throne of Saudi Arabia when his father, 81, dies.
“His supporters praise him as hard-working and say he offers a hopeful vision for the kingdom’s future, especially for its large youth population. His critics have called him rash, inexperienced and power-hungry,” the New York Times writes of the new crown prince.
The Saudi government’s official news agency reports that the newly-announced crown prince was also named deputy prime minister and maintained his post as defence minister.
According to the decree, the former crown prince was also fired from his post as interior minister.