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article imageKing Abdullah of Saudi Arabia names Prince Nayef as heir

By Katerina Nikolas     Oct 28, 2011 in World
Prince Nayef bin Abdul Aziz, 78, has been appointed as the new crown prince and deputy prime minister of Saudi Arabia. Known as an ultra-conservative the prince is opposed to reforms within the Kingdom.
Saudi King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz has named Prince Nayef bin Abdul Aziz as his new heir and deputy prime minister of the Kingdom, following the death of Crown Prince Sultan bin Abdul Aziz. Members of the Allegiance-Pledge Commission met at the King's palace in Riyadh where commission members swore allegiance to Prince Nayef, the Saudi Gazette reported.
The new Crown Prince has served as Saudi's interior minister since 1975 and is generally regarded as a powerful conservative who takes a hard line on security. He was in charge of the crack down on Al-Qaeda in Saudi following 9/11. Prince Nayef, 78, is widely regarded as an anti-reformist, opposing some of the reforms made by his elder half-brother King Abdullah.
He opposes women having the right to vote and is against moves that would allow women the right to drive. If he were to succeed to the throne prior to the next elections it could possibly set back the recent edict giving women the right to vote.
During the last year Prince Nayef has played a prominent role in preventing planned demonstrations in the Kingdom and in sending Saudi security forces into neighbouring Bahrain to assist King Hamad-Bin-Isa-Al-Khalifa suppress protests. As interior minister he was in charge of the secret police and the religious police, and has close ties to the ultra-conservative hard-line Wahhabi clerics.
It is evident that the ruling elite represent the older generation despite Saudi having a high proportion of youth who are keen to seek a more democratic form of government.Those who were hoping for a more progressive leader who favored a quicker pace of reform in the Kingdom are likely to be disappointed in the appointment of Prince Rayef.
More about Prince Nayef bin Abdul Aziz, Saudi arabia, Saudi Crown Prince, King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz, AllegiancePledge Commission
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