Saudi King Salman shakes things up at the top

TOKYO - Saudi Arabia's new king has been shaking up the country's system of governance and power structure in a radical departure from the highly conservative regimes of his predecessors. Motivating this shift is the belief that the kingdom may crumble unless it responds quickly to the dramatic changes in the Middle East.

Ruled by the House of Saud since its founding, Saudi Arabia has long been known as a conservative Islamic kingdom. But things have been moving quickly since the current king, Salman bin Abdulaziz, took the throne following the death of his half-brother King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz in January.

The new king has quickly made appointments and moved to reshape government organisations.

Problem solved

Case in point: King Salman issued an edict April 29 naming Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Nayef the new crown prince, after Muqrin bin Abdulaziz, the previous holder of that title, expressed a desire to step aside.

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