Oman establishes centers in Arab states for Shoura elections
Oman-Regional, Politics, 7/29/2003
A delegation representing the Omani ministry of the interior had headed for each of the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Qatar, Egypt and Jordan in order to open electoral center in these states so as to enable Omani citizens living in these states to take part in the fifth Shoura council elections which will be held on October 4th this year.
The Omani news agency quoted the governor of Msandam, Sheikh Saeed Bin Muhammad al-Bureiki, who is also the chairman of the main committee for the Shoura council elections saying that the ministry of the interior is working to find an appropriate mechanism for the people of the Sultanate who live outside the country to cast their votes and that the ministry specified five Arab states in order to open registration centers there as a first step.
The delegation which starts its tour by visiting the UAE includes in addition to al-Bureiki each of Barka' Wali ( governor ) the chairman of the awareness committee Sheikh Ali Bin Nasser al-Mahrouqi and the director of nationality and election affairs Muhammad al-Saeidi and the director of the legal department at the ministry Shehab Bin Ahmad al-Jabiri.
Sultan Qaboos bin Said had issued by the end of 2002 a decree by which he expanded the rights to participation in the council's elections for all citizens who are age 21 year old or over as from the 5th electoral session.
The council gives advice to the government concerning economic issues but does not interfere in issues relating to defense, or security or external affairs.
The new Sultan decree has ended the previous laws which used to permit only one quarter of the Sultanate population, who are chosen by the government, to take part in the elections in order to choose 83 members in the Shoura council and for a three year term of office.
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