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Saudi king to add 75 new members to Shoura Council

Saudi Arabia’s King Salman is to appoint 75 new members to the kingdom’s highest consultative body, the Shoura Council, according to a report.

The Saudi Gazette, quoting a local Arabic-language newspaper, said that at least 15 of the new members will be women. The appointments are expected to be made on 2 December, when the current council’s term ends.

The newspaper reported that 19 members of the Shoura Council who had already served 12-year terms would be replaced. Several previous council members have been promoted to senior government positions during the body’s six term, while two have died.

King Abdullah, Saudi Arabia’s previous ruler, had appointed women to the Shoura Council for the first time in January 2013.

Fifteen women were appointed to the 150-member council, despite protests from hardline Saudi clerics.

In December last year, 17 women were elected into public office for the first time, in local municipal elections.

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