Saudi King Abdullah issued a royal decree Monday detailing regulations to implement a succession law that was announced a year ago to ensure a smooth transfer of power and help defuse rifts within the ruling Al-Saud family over future kings and crown princes.
The 18 articles listed in the new regulations outline who can become a member of the Allegiance Commission, the body that was entrusted with voting for future kings by a law issued in October 2006. They also stipulate what should be done if a member dies and how a crown prince should be chosen.
Under the new executive statute, the commission should be composed of the sons of the founder, King Abdul-Aziz Al-Saud. If the sons are deceased, incapacitated or not interested, then the membership goes to one of their sons. Abdul-Aziz had 37 sons.
The member should not be less than 22 and "he should be a man of a good reputation," according to the statute, carried by the official Saudi Press Agency. The membership period is fixed at four years and can only be renewed with the agreement of the king and the member's brothers, it added.