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The Saudi succession question

Although Saudis welcomed the elevation of Prince Muqrin, 68, as deputy crown prince, many wonder whether a younger, more energetic leadership might be better equipped to handle future economic and development challenges.
Saudi's intelligence chief Prince Muqrin bin Abdul-Aziz, brother of Saudi's King Abdullah, gestures during a news conference in Riyadh November 24, 2007.   REUTERS/ Ali Jarekji (SAUDI ARABIA - Tags: POLITICS HEADSHOT) - RTR33OJ3
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RIYADH, Saudi Arabia — The recent royal decree appointing Prince Muqrin bin Abdelaziz as deputy crown prince, thus guaranteeing his eventual rise to the throne, has reassured many Saudis about their leadership for the near future, but it has not dispelled their concerns about the monarchy’s long-term stability.

Saudis gave the announcement a “welcome reaction,” said Asaad al-Shamlan of the Institute of Diplomatic Studies in Riyadh. “It’s provided some kind of certainty regarding the succession and medium-term stability.” Nevertheless, the decree’s unusual disclosure that the king’s decision was approved by three-quarters of the princes consulted, along with its strong insistence that the decision “may not be modified or changed in any way or form by any person whoever it may be,” left lingering concerns about how firmly the king’s decision was accepted within the royal family. Who, Saudis wonder, are the rejecting 25%?

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