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Decree on Shura step towards democracy.

Muscat: Experts from a cross section of fields have hailed the generous gesture of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said for issuance of Royal Decree No. 99/2011 amending several provisions of the Basic Law of the State, as per which there will now be election of the chairman of Majlis Al Shura and his deputies from among the Majlis members.

Dr. Anwar bin Mohamed Al Rawas, an associate professor of Political Mass Communications at Sultan Qaboos University, said it was the first step towards further strengthening of the legislative powers of the Shura Council of the Sultanate.

Mattar Al Saidi, a lawyer, said the last few days have seen the elections for the seventh term of Majlis Al Shura where citizens elected their representatives in a completely transparent and democratic manner.

He said that the Royal Decree No. 99/2011 stipulates election of the chairman of Majlis Al Shura and his deputies from among the members, instead of being nominated.

This, he said, was evidence that the Sultanate is heading towards a strong democracy.

Ali bin Mussalam Al Badi, a former member of the Majlis Al Shura, said His Majesty the Sultan has reaffirmed that the Majlis Al Shura will continue to develop.

He added that the issuance of the amendments by a Royal Decree also reaffirms that the Majlis has reached a point of maturity in terms of the democratic experiment.

Saad bin Abdullah Al Shandouri, one of the contestants from the wilayat of Ibri in the Shura poll, said that election of the Majlis chairman from among the members is a step that will further strengthen the principles of Shura (consultation) in the Sultanate.

Ahmed bin Salim Al Buloshi, chairman of the Omani Theatre Association, said that the election of the Majlis chairman from among the members reflects the profound vision of His Majesty the Sultan, who has provided the Majlis Al Shura with the opportunity to practise democracy in relation to the election of the chairman and other affairs of the Majlis.

Talking about the changes, writer-poet Ibrahim Al Rowahi said that the delegation of such powers to the Majlis members represents a new stage of "real democracy".

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Publication:Times of Oman (Muscat, Oman)
Date:Oct 23, 2011
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