Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

A Historical Saudi Decree | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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The royal decree that was issued in Saudi Arabia to develop and facilitate the methods used to select the next monarch is undoubtedly a historical decision.

The decree and the new arrangements have eliminated a number of ambiguous elements and anxieties that usually surround the process of the transition of power and authority, and the prospect of political stability.

Today, Saudis feel secure in the way that their future king is chosen. It is evident that the royal decree has made use of other Arab experiences in Jordan and Kuwait for example, and also learnt from the experience of King Fahd’s deteriorating state of health in the final days of his life.

The royal decree addressed “small” and “critical” details that were once avoided due to sensitivity to dealing with issues such as old age, incapacity, illness and difference of opinions, and all of which will be dealt with in an institutional manner that involves securing the possible candidates from the ruling family and a majority vote, emphasizing that the candidates are the sons and grandsons of the founder of the kingdom, King Abdulaziz. Accordingly, the door will be opened to the third generation in a practical and finalized manner.

The recent decision is an important qualitative shift in the present Saudi political arena and installs confidence in citizens and foreign investors in Saudi Arabia, as it is well known that the obsession with political stability and continuation have often presented anxiety, fear and disorder. In the Middle East, which is full of political adventures and the catastrophes of terrorism, this matter will always remain, however, the Saudi royal decree concerning the most important and intricate of political questions regarding the system and the mechanism of pledging allegiance, has the power to eliminate any future “turmoil” especially considering rumors of clashes in the past.

It is clear that now there is an authoritative systematic institution to choose the future kings of Saudi Arabia. This method has been long awaited and is a significant step that signals the leadership of King Abdullah who chose the word “reform” as the slogan of his reign, which he applies in a number of areas and this recent decision is yet another confirmation of this, however this time regarding one of the most delicate of issues, the institution of governance itself.