The Telegraph reports: Saudi Arabia has issued a manifesto for change in the face of rumours of coup plots and international pressure, ranging from economic reform to the role of women and allowing human rights groups into the country.
At a time when the country’s internal politics are under more scrutiny than at any time for decades, close advisers to the new King Salman and his powerful son have taken the unprecedented step of outlining a detailed programme of its future government to The Telegraph.
It amounts to a Thatcherite programme of budget cuts, increasing the role of the private sector, and reforms to the way the kingdom is governed.
It obliquely acknowledges that radical changes in the royal family since the king acceded to the throne in January, including the sidelining of a generation of older princes and the former heir to the throne, have met with opposition. There have been claims outside the country that disgruntled princes are attempting to mount a coup to replace the king with one of his brothers.
But the statement of principles shown to the Telegraph says that the way the country has been run since its founding a century ago must give way to “youth”. “These resolute and decisive changes may have annoyed some people but it does not amount to a crisis,” it says. [Continue reading…]