- vol.2, pp.65-79, 2015
The Basic Law of Governance in Saudi Arabia stipulates that the king of Saudi Arabia has absolute power in the government of Saudi Arabia. However, after King Abdullah's accession to the throne in 2005, his political powers were limited because of the presence of the so-called Sudeiri Seven, the powerful royal group that consists of the seven sons of King Abdel-Aziz's purported favorite wife, Sheikha Hussa bin Ahmad Sudeiri. The death of the crown prince Sultan in 2011 followed by the death of the next crown prince Naif in 2012, both members of the Sudeiri Seven, weakened the power of the Sudeiri Seven. As a result, King Abdullah's power had increased greatly compared to that of the Sudeiri Seven. Also, the sons of King Abdullah, who occupied prominent governmental posts, were acquiring strong influence in the regime. The death of King Abdullah in January 2015 and Salman's accession to the throne caused changes to the ruling regime in Saudi Arabia. King Salman appointed Prince Muqrin as crown prince and deputy premier, and Prince Muhammad b. Naif as deputy crown prince. King Salman also appointed his son Muhammad b. Salman as defence minister and head of the royal court. Finally, King Salman issued a royal order on January 29 to reshuffle his cabinet and dismiss the governors of the Riyadh and Makka.