Saudi Arabia restructures top religious and advisory bodies

FILE PHOTO: Saudi Arabia's King Salman bin Abdulaziz attends a virtual cabinet meeting in Neom, Saudi Arabia August 18, 2020. Saudi Press Agency/Handout via REUTERS

DUBAI (Reuters) - Saudi Arabia’s King Salman issued a series of orders on Sunday restructuring the kingdom’s advisory Shura Council, the supreme court and the highest religious body.

The orders, carried on state media, appointed a new speaker and two deputies for the Shura Council, an influential advisory body which is due to start a new term this week. One of the deputies is a woman.

The king also ordered a “reformation” of the Council of Senior Scholars to be headed by Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdulaziz al-Sheikh, and appointed a new Supreme Court chief, Khaled bin Abdullah al-Luhaidan.

He also named Ghayhab Mohammed al-Ghayhab as a senior adviser to the royal court.

Reporting by Aziz El Yaakoubi and Samar Hassan; Editing by Kevin Liffey and Alexandra Hudson