ABU DHABI // The elevation of Prince Mohammed bin Salman to crown prince on Wednesday was an overwhelming sign of confidence from the members of the royal family that hold the 34 seats on the Allegiance Council.
The council is comprised of sons of the founder of Saudi Arabia, King Abdulaziz, his grandsons whose fathers are deceased and a son of the king and a son of the crown prince.
The appointment came late on Tuesday night after Taraweeh prayers and almost 11 Hijra years to the day after the formation of the council.
Before the Allegiance Council was established in 2006 by the late King Abdullah, the appointment of the heir was usually done by the king with some form of unofficial agreement among royal family members.
As per the law, King Salman was believed to have nominated two or three candidates for the role of crown prince.
The three members of the royal family who voted against Prince Mohammed are believed to do so mostly out of protocol.
One of the three votes cast is believed to have come from Prince Mohammed himself, who is a member of the council, as a display of humility towards elders in the running.
Among the 16 royal decrees issued on Wednesday was the reshuffling of key roles in the Saudi government promoting several younger members of the royal family.
The decrees relieved Prince Mohammed bin Nayef from his duties as crown prince. He was also replaced as minister of interior by Prince Abdul Aziz bin Saud who is in his early thirties and is relatively unknown outside of Saudi Arabia.
Other appointments were made showing a trend of appointing younger royals and Saudi citizens to roles almost exclusively held by older member of the Saudi royal family.