There is much risk in the Crown Prince’s bold autocratic revolution in the name of reform
After a weekend of arrests and sweeping anti-corruption purges it’s clear that a revolution is taking place in Saudi Arabia. It is not an Army revolt, nor a popular uprising, but palace intrigue of the most Byzantine sort – a move against the elite, by the elite. With former ministers, royal family members, and business leaders being rounded up and detained, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has taken a giant leap toward becoming de facto leader of his country.
There is an irony in his revolution. It is done in the name of reform, yet its methods are autocratic. And in contrast to previous rulers who traditionally preferred to take baby steps, Prince Mohammed is in a hurry, with little time for anybody who appears to be stand in the way of his ambitious programme for change.