Saudi Arabia restructures the Supreme Court, Shura Council and Council of Senior Scholars

Saudi Arabia: new-look Shura Council includes 30 women

FILE PHOTO: Saudi Arabia's King Salman bin Abdulaziz attends a virtual cabinet meeting in Neom, Saudi Arabia August 18, 2020. Picture taken August 18, 2020.  Saudi Press Agency/Handout via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS PICTURE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY./File Photo
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Saudi Arabia has announced royal decrees restructuring the Supreme Court, Shura Council and Council of Senior Scholars.

Twenty people have been appointed to the Council of Senior Scholars.

Sheikh Abdulaziz bin Abdullah Al Sheikh, Mufti of Saudi Arabia, was appointed President of the Council of Senior Scholars.

Sheikh Ghaiheb bin Mohammed Al Ghaihab becomes an adviser at the Royal Court, with the rank of minister.

Sheikh Khalid bin Abdullah Al Luhaidan is now Chairman of the Supreme Court, with the rank of minister.

Eighteen Saudi women joined the new150-member Shura Council, with a further 12 maintaining their membership from the previous session.

The new members will participate in the meetings of the council, which plays an advisory legislative role for four years, before a new council is formed by the king.

Sheikh Dr Abdullah bin Mohammed Al Sheikh was announced as speaker for the council, and Dr Mishaal bin Fahim Al Sulami as vice speaker.

All 30 women appointed to the council are academics from different regions of the Kingdom. One of the women is a member of the royal family.

Hanan Al Ahmadi was on Sunday appointed assistant speaker of the Shura Council, making her the first woman to hold this position in the history of the Kingdom.

Ms Al Ahmadi is a Saudi Arabian academic specialising in economics and health management.

Fadhil Albuainain, a renowned Saudi Arabian economist and columnist who has been appointed to Shura Council expressed his happiness, stressing that it will be an incentive to make more efforts to serve his people and country.

Mr Albuainain pledged to spare no effort to assume his national responsibility.

“I look forward to having this confidence, and to be able to fulfill the responsibilities of this important position,” he said.

Women reacted with joy at more representation in such a powerful body. Maha Al Rasheed, a Saudi businesswoman based in Jeddah, said she was very happy for the new women members and hopes they will represent women in general.

“The move is in line with the remarkable progress achieved by Saudi women over the past few years,” she said.

“This is the result of the equal opportunity Saudi women have been given by the Saudi leadership.”

Newly-appointed Shura Council member Maha Al Senan paid tribute to the Saudi leadership on Twitter.

She also vowed full respect for the constitution and the law, pledging to participate, with the other Shura Council members, in various matters concerning citizens and the country.