In Oman, virtually all power is gathered by the ruling Sultan, who since the mid-18th century is derived from the family of Al Said. While there is a parliament, where general elections are held for the lower house while the members of the upper house are appointed by the sultan, the parliament has only one advisory function. There are no political parties.
Oman is a sultanate (a kind of monarchy). The country’s ruler, the sultan, appoints the country’s ministers, heads the government’s work and is himself the Foreign, Defense and Finance Minister and the Governor of the Riksbank.
- Countryaah: Total population and chart of Oman for years of 2020, 2021, 2022, 2023 and 2024. Also covers population density, birth rate, death rate and population growth rates.
In 1996, for the first time, through royal decrees, Oman received a form of written constitution, the Constitution of the State. This states that there should be an advisory assembly (a “parliament” without power) with two chambers: the lower house, majlis al-shura, whose members are elected directly by the people for a four-year term, and the upper house, majlis al-dawla, whose members are appointed by the sultan among “prominent Omani”, also for four years. Since the 2015 election, the two chambers have 85 members each.
In 2000, the first direct elections for the lower house were held, but then almost a tenth of the Omani people voted. At the 2003 elections, however, all citizens who were 21 years of age were eligible to vote – including women.
The lower house examines legislative proposals from the government but has only one advisory function, mainly in financial matters. The upper house should be “a link between the government and the people”. Political parties are not allowed.
The “Constitution” also regulates the order of the throne. The Sultan’s successor will be appointed by his family within three days of his death. If this does not happen, the so-called Defense Council, which consists of high-ranking representatives of the defense and the state administration, shall appoint the successor appointed by the sultan himself in a closed envelope.
Short for OM by Abbreviationfinder, Oman consists of five regions, eleven so-called governorates – led by one governor appointed by the sultan – and 61 provinces (wilayat). In December 2012 elections were held for newly established advisory bodies at wilayat level.
The state must save
Ministries and authorities have been ordered to save, in light of falling oil prices reducing Omani state revenues. The savings ratio is 10 percent, and both salary reductions and reduced benefits may be relevant, according to state media. The corona crisis also leads to a number of measures: Omani may not be terminated, but can be laid off with compensation from the state. Companies that end up in financial difficulties can, among other things, have their energy engine paid for three months. In mid-April, a thousand cases of the covid-19 viral disease and four deaths were confirmed.
Oil countries are reducing their production
Opec member countries and several non-member oil producing states (such as Oman, Russia, Mexico and Kazakhstan) agree to reduce their production by a total of 9.7 million barrels per day to raise crude oil prices. Oman, for its part, pulls down a few hundred thousand barrels a day. The total reduction corresponds to almost a tenth of world production, but it is still uncertain if the producer countries succeed in their ambitions to get more paid for the oil. The severe restrictions imposed by the world’s countries to counter the corona pandemic have caused global demand to collapse, for example on aviation fuel.
Rules are tightened against coronary infection
A series of measures are being taken to counter the spread of a new coronavirus, which has also been found in Oman. Among other things, police raids are carried out against street vendors in Musqat who do not comply with the new rules of conduct and are therefore feared to contribute to the spread of infection. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) classified the disease as a pandemic, spreading worldwide.
Old Sultan away from the national anthem
The new Sultan Haitham issues a decree on the national anthem. The name of his deceased representative, who is celebrated in the text, should be removed. The decree comes the day after the end of the official mourning period.
The Sultan dies, Oman gets new regent
Oman’s longtime regent Sultan Qabus (Qaboos) dies. He is succeeded by his cousin Haitham bin Tariq. In his first speech as regent two days later, the new sultan promises to continue in the representative’s path, as neutral Oman has had an appreciated role as mediator in regional conflicts. Domestic politics, Haitham will step in to implement a program called Vision 2040, which aims, among other things, to strengthen the country’s economy and reduce youth unemployment.