Saudi king names members to a commission entrusted with picking future kings

King Abdullah has issued a royal decree naming 35 sons and grandsons of Saudi Arabia's founder to a commission that would help select future kings, the kingdom's official news agency reported Monday. In October, Abdullah issued a decree that detailed how he would choose members of the Allegiance Commission and how it would pick future successors in an effort to help ensure a smooth transfer of power and defuse any rifts within the ruling Al Saud family. What is new in Monday's development is that Abdullah identified the commission members by name - a move that could contribute to transparency in Saudi's future heir selection. Saudi Arabia's rule has been passed down to the sons of the kingdom's founder Abdul-Aziz Al Saud, but they are aging and succession could become more complicated. There are believed to be some 6,000 Saudi princes, dozens of whom are considered contenders in the line of succession.