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Oman's Sultan Granting Lawmaking Powers to Councils
VOA News
 March 13, 2011
Photo: AP
Oman leader Sultan Qaboos in Muscat (File Photo)
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In a response to political unrest, the sultan of Oman is granting lawmaking powers to councils that previously had only an advisory role.

His move follows demonstrations by people seeking jobs and a greater public role in politics.

The sultan's decree on Sunday gives the authority to make laws and regulations to two councils - one elected (the Majlis Ash-Shura) and one appointed by the monarch (the Council of State). It was not immediately clear if the sultan will retain veto power.   

At present, only the Omani ruler and his Cabinet can legislate.

Within 30 days, a special commission is to draw up ways to amend state laws to carry out the sultan's plan.

The Omani ruler also announced a boost in state pension benefits and payments for families receiving social security.

Sultan Qaboos bin Sa'id earlier responded  to protests that began last month by shaking up his Cabinet and promising thousands of new civil service jobs.     

Oman's protests have been limited compared with the political unrest in regional neighbors Yemen and Bahrain.
Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.
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Comments (3)
hamad part 1 of 2 (Oman)
We are so proud of our leader who strives to amend our constitution and give lawmakers more effective power to legislate laws which will improve our progress and development widely . We are looking forward bright future and better life under the wise rule of Sultan Qaboos . All those amendments indicate how Sultan Qaboos cares about his nation and our renascence which will reflect positively on our daily life .
hamad part 2 of 2 (Oman)
Omani nation has become realized that peaceful protests could change many things on the ground and our government is ready to fulfill the demands of its nation with open hands . As much as lawmakers get more power , our lives will be better and corruptions will be eradicated vigorously which will satisfy Omani nation and push them to prove their abilities in all sectors and build their country proudly .
Merlin (USA)
Before assuming that Sultan Qaboos has made any significant changes, it will become necessary to wait and review, what really happens, so as to compare that with what he claims will happen. Whatever changes, you can be sure he will still retain overwhelming power, to formulate laws in his favor.
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