A bad week for Saudi crown prince Mohammed bin Salman
At a time of swings to the Right in Europe, Germany’s pro-immigration Green party almost doubled its share of the vote to 17.5%, coming second in the bellwether Bavarian state election on Sunday. Chancellor Angela Merkel’s CSU, which rules as part of an alliance, had its biggest loss in 60 years but still emerged as the largest party, with 37.2%, while the anti-immigration AfD was fourth, with 10.2%. Annalena Baerbock, co-leader of the Greens, said: "Today Bavaria voted to uphold human rights and humanity." The Greens are ready to enter a coalition with the CSU, but it in turn seems unlikely to join such an alliance.
The Jamal Khashoggi affair has exposed the dark side of Saudi crown prince Mohammed bin Salman, who almost certainly ordered the capture if not the murder of the Saudi journalist in its Istanbul consulate on October 2. Many fêted the prince as a modernising reformer, yet he has jailed rights campaigners and mercilessly attacked the Houthis of Yemen, where famine looms on an unprecedented scale. The prince was expected to acknowledge Khashoggi’s death as a result of "an interrogation that went wrong". Saudi stocks have plunged. Many executives have pulled out of his forthcoming investment conference.