Saudi King’s Son, Mohammed bin Salman, Plotted to Oust Rival
The heir apparent forced the former Crown Prince to step down.
What first looked like simple politics, now appears to be a silent coup.
Mohammed bin Salman, now Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, ousted his cousin from the spot as next in line for the throne, indicating the transition of power was rockier than initially reported.
Instead, the New York Times reports 31-year-old bin Salman became the successor to his father’s throne through a power-grab in June. President Trump was tipped off about the leadership change a week before it occurred, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Mohammed bin Nayef, the 57-year-old former Crown Prince, was summoned to his palace in Mecca and held against his will during an all-night meeting that pressured him to step aside. He told senior princes unfit to serve as king because he had a drug problem. Bin Nayef has reportedly been confined to his home since abdicating.
Bin Salman, a self-declared reformer, plotted the silent coup himself, according to the Wall Street Journal. Supporters of the young prince, who they view as an ambitious leader trying to modernize Saudi culture and its economy, applauded the “seamless” promotion.
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