17:19 GMT +316 November 2018
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    Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman sits during an allegiance pledging ceremony in Mecca, Saudi Arabia June 21, 2017

    Saudi Anti-Graft Campaign a Cover For Political Power Games - Politician

    © REUTERS / Bandar Algaloud/Courtesy of Saudi Royal Court
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    An anti-corruption sweep that rocked Saudi Arabia over the weekend is not only an unprecedented measure of its kind, but also an indicator of the intense power struggle within the Saudi establishment, analysts told Sputnik.

    Over 40 influential figures, including members of the Royal family, ministers, military officials and businessmen, were arrested in Saudi Arabia on Sunday by decree of the kingdom’s newly-established anti-corruption committee.

    According to Saudi military analyst Abdallah Ganim al Qahtani, this anti-corruption campaign fully complies with the "comprehensive reform and development plan" for the kingdom.

    "This new strategy is aimed at promoting young and modern-day leaders who will be more suitable for the kingdom as it plans itself to become by 2030," al Qahtani told Sputnik Arabic.

    He pointed to the fact that the Saudi king has ordered the establishment of the anti-corruption committee headed by the crown prince, which indicates his commitment to fight corruption-related crimes at all levels.

    READ MORE: Chaos or Consolidation of Power — What’s Behind Saudi Arabia’s Wild Weekend?

    In turn, Mohammad Al-Massari, a Saudi opposition activist and secretary general of the Party for Islamic Renewal, told Sputnik that the recent string of arrests came as a surprise for everyone in Saudi Arabia.

    "[Before these measures] it seemed like Royal family members and their business partners were untouchable," he said.

    Al-Massari emphasized that the "struggle between power clans and blocks in the Saudi government" is the main reason behind this campaign, adding that  Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman wants to remove all of his rivals from his path to power.

    "The declared goals and the commitment to fight corruption are great. But there is the possibility that this ambitious goal will not be achieved and the effect will actually be the reverse. The problem is that the timing for this campaign is wrong. The current situation in the region and in the country is complicated and there are also behind-the-scenes political games being played in the government," the Saudi politician said.


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    power struggle, corruption, Salman bin Abdul Aziz al-Saud, Saudi Arabia
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