The powerful Saudi crown prince's purge of royals and ministers this weekend could pave the way for improved business conditions in the kingdom, analysts say. However, it also risks plunging Saudi Arabia into chaos if it touches off a showdown in the sprawling royal family, they warn.
Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has framed the arrest of 11 princes, four ministers and dozens of officials this weekend as a crackdown on corruption. Others have a called it a power grab meant to smooth the way for the 32-year-old's widely anticipated rise to the throne and his bid to overhaul the Saudi economy.
However, several Middle East watchers rejected an either-or explanation. Instead they say the roundup has elements of an anti-corruption drive, a consolidation of power and a populist appeal to average Saudis fed up with royal excess.