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Oman Government 1999

    Country name:
    conventional long form: Sultanate of Oman
    conventional short form: Oman
    local long form: Saltanat Uman
    local short form: Uman

    Data code: MU

    Government type: monarchy

    Capital: Muscat

    Administrative divisions: 6 regions (mintaqat, singular—mintaqah) and 2 governorates* (muhafazat, singular—muhafazah) Ad Dakhiliyah, Al Batinah, Al Wusta, Ash Sharqiyah, Az Zahirah, Masqat, Musandam*, Zufar*

    Independence: 1650 (expulsion of the Portuguese)

    National holiday: National Day, 18 November (1940)

    Constitution: none; note—on 6 November 1996, Sultan QABOOS issued a royal decree promulgating a new basic law which, among other things, clarifies the royal succession, provides for a prime minister, bars ministers from holding interests in companies doing business with the government, establishes a bicameral Omani council, and guarantees basic civil liberties for Omani citizens

    Legal system: based on English common law and Islamic law; ultimate appeal to the monarch; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction

    Suffrage: limited to approximately 50,000 Omanis chosen by the government to vote in elections for the Majlis ash-Shura

    Executive branch:
    chief of state: Sultan and Prime Minister QABOOS bin Said Al Said (since 23 July 1970); note—the monarch is both the chief of state and head of government
    head of government: Sultan and Prime Minister QABOOS bin Said Al Said (since 23 July 1970); note—the monarch is both the chief of state and head of government
    cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the monarch
    elections: none; the monarch is hereditary

    Legislative branch: bicameral Majlis Oman consists of an upper chamber or Majlis ad-Dawla (41 seats; members appointed by the monarch; has advisory powers only) and a lower chamber or Majlis ash-Shura (82 seats; members elected by limited suffrage, however, the monarch makes final selections and can negate election results; body has some limited power to propose legislation, but otherwise has only advisory powers)
    elections: last held NA October 1997 (next to be held NA 2000)
    election results: NA

    Judicial branch: none; traditional Islamic judges and a nascent civil court system, administered by region

    Political parties and leaders: none

    Political pressure groups and leaders: NA

    International organization participation: ABEDA, AFESD, AL, AMF, ESCWA, FAO, G-77, GCC, IBRD, ICAO, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, Inmarsat, Intelsat, Interpol, IOC, ISO (correspondent), ITU, NAM, OIC, OPCW, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTrO (applicant)

    Diplomatic representation in the US:
    chief of mission: Ambassador Abdallah bin Muhammad bin Aqil al-DHAHAB
    chancery: 2535 Belmont Road, NW, Washington, DC 20008
    telephone: [1] (202) 387-1980 through 1981, 1988
    FAX: [1] (202) 745-4933

    Diplomatic representation from the US:
    chief of mission: Ambassador John D. CRAIG
    embassy: Jameat A'Duwal Al Arabiya Street, Al Khuwair area, Muscat
    mailing address: international: P. O. Box 202, Code No. 115, Medinat Qaboos, Muscat
    telephone: [968] 698989
    FAX: [968] 699779

    Flag description: three horizontal bands of white, red, and green of equal width with a broad, vertical, red band on the hoist side; the national emblem (a khanjar dagger in its sheath superimposed on two crossed swords in scabbards) in white is centered at the top of the vertical band

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Revised 1-Mar-99
Copyright © 1999 Photius Coutsoukis (all rights reserved)