Saudi authorities in a purge that began Saturday night and swept up some of the most powerful and recognizable names in the kingdom, including members of the Saudi royal family, cabinet ministers, titans of media and industry, and former officials. So, Saudi Crown Prince gains power.
Among the detainees is Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, a wealthy investor who owns major stakes in such companies as Twitter and Citigroup, according to an associate of his family.
“Mohammed bin Salman wants to destroy the game of checks and balances that had characterized Saudi Arabia over the past few decades,”
said Stéphane Lacroix, a professor of political science at Sciences Po in Paris. She added that there will be no fiefdoms that could counter Mohammed bin Salman’s decisions.
The Sunday’s breathtaking stroke was realized in the best Middle East traditions, the top Saudi officials cast the arrests as the first shot in a battle against the country’s notorious and deeply rooted corruption. Crown Prince showed that even the mighty persons who seemed untouchable can be punished for the corruption.
Saudi Arabia is changing
The detentions seemed more like the continuation of a process that had been accelerating over the past two years: the ruthless consolidation of power by the crown prince before his father, King Salman, dies or abdicates the throne. In Saudi Arabia, the wind of changes blows stronger year by year, and Crown Prince, undoubtedly, vouched for support of many powerful families to realize the purge in the top-division od Saudi authorities.
It is worth to note that the officials detained Saturday included Prince Miteb bin Abdullah, head of the elite Saudi national guard and a favoured son of King Abdullah, who died in 2015 and was the predecessor of the current king.
A royal decree, carried Saturday on the website of the Saudi state news agency, said the crown prince would lead a new committee that had been granted broad powers to root out public corruption, including the ability to issue arrest warrants, impose travel bans and freeze bank accounts.