Saudi Cabinet Shuffle

Saudi Cabinet Shuffle

Writing for Jane’s, Christopher Boucek reports on the implications of a recent reshuffle of Saudi King Abdullah’s cabinet. Abdullah, Boucek reports, has spent the last three and a half years restructuring the top levels of Saudi Arabia’s governing apparatus. His primary goal appears to be cementing his own influence and state control by filling senior positions with personal supporters.


Yet there are a few positive developments for the reform-minded. Nora bint Abdullah al-Fayez has been appointed to the cabinet as Deputy Minister of Education in charge of women’s affairs–the first female cabinet-level official in the country’s history.


Also of note, the Senior Council of Ulema was expanded to include representatives from all four schools of Sunni legal thought–previously only the official Hanbali Mazhab school was permitted.


Still, Boucek cautions, this “re-shuffle can best be understood as less about political reform than about institutionalisation and expanding state control.”


The Source