Saudi king appoints son to head Mecca province
RIYADH (REUTERS) - Saudi King Abdullah on Sunday appointed his son Prince Mishaal as governor of Mecca Province, one of the most prominent jobs in the country, the latest move in a rolling reshuffle of senior ruling family members over the past two years.
He replaces Prince Khaled al-Faisal, who has been made education minister, a move that may revive stalled educational reforms aimed at reducing the influence of religious conservatives, Saudi analysts said.
The appointments were announced in a royal decree carried by state media in the world's top oil exporter, where moves among senior princes are closely watched for their impact on the country's opaque succession process.
Since 2011, a series of deaths, retirements and promotions mean most top government positions held by princes, plus the three top provincial governor jobs, have switched hands after decades with little change.