By Ali Younes
With the passing of King Abdullah Bin Abdel Aziz, King of Saudi Arabia, in the early hours of Friday, Saudi Arabia has now a new King in Salman Bin Abdel Aziz, the half brother of late King Abdullah.
King Salman was born in 1935 and is the 25th son of the Kingdom founder. At the age 19, he was appointed as deputy and later governor of the capital Riyadh for 57 years, from 1954 until 2011, when he was appointed as a minister of defense.
While King Salman had no formal education, he had basic education at the school of princes that educated and trained the Saudi princes.
The new King is considered a conservative king while not necessarily opposing to the limited and gradual reform that started during the reign of his brother King Abdullah.
As a crown prince, he succeeded his brother King Abdullah to the throne after he was selected crown prince to succeed the later prince Sultan who passed away in 2012.
Prince Muqren Bin Abdel Aziz, 70, is now formally the new Crown Prince to the new King. Prince Muqren is half brother of the late and the new Kings and is the 36th son of King Abdel Aziz, the Kingdom’s founder.
The Saudi TV reported that King Abdullah will be buried tomorrow after the afternoon prayer service.
The TV also reported that the new King will stand tomorrow to receive the pledge of allegiance from the ruling family members and government officials. The King will also stand to receive the pledge of allegiance from Saudi citizens as traditions dictate. Saudi citizens throughout the Kingdom will pledge allegiance to the King in their towns and cities though their local Prince or governor.
The late King Abdullah was born in Riyadh in 1924 and the 12th son of Abdel Aziz and was the head of the Saudi National Guards from 1963 until 2010 when he appointed his son to succeed him as the head of the National Guards. King Abdullah was noted for establishing “ Al Bayaah” system which is the house of Saud council to choose the future kings of Saudi Arabia from the sons of Abdel Aziz who founded the Kingdom in the 1920s.
Ali Younes is the Editor of the Arab Daily News. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, and on twitter @clearaliyounes
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