The Saudi crown prince just made a very risky power play

The purge resembles the approach of authoritarian regimes such as China. President Xi Jinping has used a similar anti-corruption theme to replace a generation of party and military leaders.

Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman says he’s cracking down on corruption. But the sweeping arrests of cabinet ministers and senior princes Saturday night looked to many astonished Arab observers like a bold but risky consolidation of power.

MBS, as the headstrong 32-year-old ruler is known, struck at some of the kingdom’s most prominent business and political names in a new bid to gain political control and drive change in the oil kingdom. By the count of the Saudi-owned al-Arabiya news channel, the arrests included 11 princes, four ministers and several dozen others.

Opinion | The Saudi crown prince just made a very risky power play
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