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Encyclopedia > Politics of Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia

This article is part of the series:
Politics and government of
Saudi Arabia
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Politics of Saudi Arabia takes place in a framework of an absolute monarchy whereby the King of Saudi Arabia is not only head of state, but also the head of government. The central institution of Saudi Arabian Government is the monarchy. The Basic Law adopted in 1992 declared that Saudi Arabia is a monarchy ruled by the sons and grandsons of King Abd Al Aziz Al Saud, and that the Qur'an is the constitution of the country, which is governed on the basis of Islamic law (Shari'a). The King of Saudi Arabia is Saudi Arabias head of state and monarch. ... The custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud (Arabic: ‎, born 1924) [2] is the King of Saudi Arabia. ... The House of Saud ( transliteration: ) is the royal family of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. ... Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques is a title given to the King of Saudi Arabia. ... Saudi Arabia has no parliament. ... The Basic Law of Saudi Arabia means, that you have to eat chocolate. ... Saudi Arabia is divided into 13 Principalities or regions (manatiq, singular – mintaqah). ... The situation of human rights in Saudi Arabia is generally considered to be woeful. ... The Committee for the Propagation of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice (CPVPV) is a Saudi Arabian police force meant to prevent religious crimes. ... The kingdom of Saudi Arabia is an Islamic theocratic monarchy without legal protection for freedom of religion, and such protection does not exist in practice. ... Saudi foreign policy objectives are to maintain its security and its paramount position on the Arabian Peninsula, defend general Arab and Islamic interests, promote solidarity among Islamic governments, and maintain cooperative relations with other oil-producing and major oil-consuming countries. ... Information on politics by country is available for every country, including both de jure and de facto independent states, inhabited dependent territories, as well as areas of special sovereignty. ... This does not cite its references or sources. ... This is a list of kings of Saudi Arabia: King Abdul Aziz (Ibn Saud) (1902/1932-1953) King Saud, son of King Abdul Aziz (1953-1964) King Faisal, son of King Abdul Aziz (1964-1975) King Khalid, son of King Abdul Aziz (1975-1982) King Fahd, son of King Abdul... Queen Elizabeth II, is the Head of State of 16 countries including: the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, Jamaica, New Zealand and the Bahamas, as well as crown colonies and overseas territories of the United Kingdom. ... The Head of Government is the chief officer of the executive branch of a government, often presiding over a cabinet. ... The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is a country on the Arabian Peninsula. ... Forms of government Part of the Politics series Politics Portal This box:      A monarchy, from the Greek μονος, one, and αρχειν, to rule, is a form of government that has a monarch as head of state. ... 1992 (MCMXCII) was a leap year starting on Wednesday. ... Ibn Saud Abdul Aziz bin Abdul Rahman ibn Faisal Al Saud (1880 - November 9, 1953), also known by several abbreviated forms of this name, or simply as Ibn Saud was first monarch of Saudi Arabia. ... The Qurān [1] (Arabic: ‎, literally the recitation; also called ‎ The Noble Qurān; also transliterated as Quran, Koran, and Al-Quran) is the central religious text of Islam. ... Islam (Arabic:  ) is a monotheistic religion based upon the teachings of Muhammad, a 7th century Arab religious and political figure. ... Sharia (Arabic: transliteration: ) is the body of Islamic law. ...

Contents

State ideology

There are no recognized national political parties. The king's powers are theoretically limited within the bounds of Shari'a and other Saudi traditions. He also must retain a consensus of the Saudi royal family, religious leaders (ulema), and other important elements in Saudi society. The state's ideology is the Wahhabism. This flavour of Islam spreads further by funding construction of mosques and Qur'an schools around the world. The leading members of the royal family choose the king from among themselves with the subsequent approval of the ulema. The House of Saud ( transliteration: ) is the royal family of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. ... Ulema (, translit: , singular: , translit: , scholar) (Islamic clergy) refers to the educated class of Muslim scholars engaged in the several fields of Islamic studies. ... Wahhabism (Arabic: الوهابية, Wahabism, Wahabbism, Whahhabism) is an Islamic movement, named after Muhammad ibn Abd al Wahhab (1703–1792). ...


Central government

King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia
King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia
Main office holders
Office Name Party Since
King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz al-Saud 1 August 2005

The central institution of Saudi Arabian Government is the Saudi monarchy. The Basic Law adopted in 1992 declared that Saudi Arabia is a monarchy ruled by the sons and grandsons of the first king, Abd Al Aziz Al Saud, and that the Qur'an is the constitution of the country, which is governed on the basis of Islamic law (Shari'a). On 20 October 2006 the creation of a committee of princes to vote on the eligibility of future kings and crown princes was set up. The committee, to be known as the Allegiance Institution, will include the sons and grandsons of King Abdul Aziz, under the new rules the committee can vote for one of three princes nominated by the king. In the event that neither the king nor the crown prince are deemed fit to rule, a five-member transitory council would run state affairs for a maximum of one week. Image File history File links Cropped version of http://commons. ... Image File history File links Cropped version of http://commons. ... The custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud (Arabic: ‎, born 1924) [2] is the King of Saudi Arabia. ... This is a list of kings of Saudi Arabia: King Abdul Aziz (Ibn Saud) (1902/1932-1953) King Saud, son of King Abdul Aziz (1953-1964) King Faisal, son of King Abdul Aziz (1964-1975) King Khalid, son of King Abdul Aziz (1975-1982) King Fahd, son of King Abdul... The custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud (Arabic: ‎, born 1924) [2] is the King of Saudi Arabia. ... August 1 is the 213th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (214th in leap years), with 152 days remaining. ... 2005 (MMV) was a common year starting on Saturday of the Gregorian calendar. ... // The House of Saud The House of Saud refers to the royal family of Saudi Arabia. ... Ibn Saud Abdul Aziz bin Abdul Rahman ibn Faisal Al Saud (1880 - November 9, 1953), also known by several abbreviated forms of this name, or simply as Ibn Saud was first monarch of Saudi Arabia. ... The Qurān [1] (Arabic: ‎, literally the recitation; also called ‎ The Noble Qurān; also transliterated as Quran, Koran, and Al-Quran) is the central religious text of Islam. ... Sharia ( Arabic شريعة also Sharia, Shariah or Syariah) is traditional Islamic law. ... October 20 is the 293rd day of the year (294th in leap years) in the Gregorian Calendar, with 72 days remaining. ... For the Manfred Mann album, see 2006 (album). ... The term prince, from the Latin root princeps, is used for the member of the highest aristocracy. ... A Crown Prince or Crown Princess is the heir or heiress apparent to the throne in a royal or imperial monarchy. ...


There are no recognized political parties or national elections, except the local elections which was done in the year 2005. The king's powers are theoretically limited within the bounds of Shari'a and other Saudi traditions. He also must retain a consensus of the Saudi royal family, religious leaders (ulema), and other important elements in Saudi society. Ulema (, translit: , singular: , translit: , scholar) (Islamic clergy) refers to the educated class of Muslim scholars engaged in the several fields of Islamic studies. ...


Saudi kings gradually have developed a central government. Since 1953, the Council of Ministers, appointed by and responsible to the king, has advised on the formulation of general policy and directed the activities of the growing bureaucracy. This council consists of a prime minister, the first and second deputy prime ministers, 20 ministers (of whom the minister of defense also is the second deputy prime minister), two ministers of state, and a small number of advisers and heads of major autonomous organizations. 1953 (MCMLIII) was a common year starting on Thursday. ...


Legislation

Saudi Arabia has little formal criminal code, and instead criminal laws largely come out through the kingdom's adherence to a conservative form of Sunni Islam commonly known as Wahhabism and the desire of the royal family to prevent any type of political opposition. The kingdom does have an extensive civil and commercial code, mainly to encourage economic development and foreign investment. Wahhabism (Arabic: الوهابية, Wahabism, Wahabbism, Whahhabism) is an Islamic movement, named after Muhammad ibn Abd al Wahhab (1703–1792). ...


National legislation comes from the Saudi Council of Ministers, but most be ratified by royal decree and found to be fully compatible with the kingdom's conservative interpretation of Shari'a law. Justice is administered according to the Shari'a by a system of religious courts whose judges are appointed by the king on the recommendation of the Supreme Judicial Council, composed of 12 senior jurists. In theory, the independence of the judiciary is protected by law. The king acts as the highest court of appeal and has the power to pardon. Access to high officials (usually at a majlis, or public audience) and the right to petition them directly are well-established Saudi traditions. Sharia ( Arabic شريعة also Sharia, Shariah or Syariah) is traditional Islamic law. ... A jurist is a professional who studies, develops, applies or otherwise deals with the law. ... Majlis (مجلس) is an Arabic term used to describe various types of formal legislative assemblies in countries with linguistic or cultural connections to Islamic countries. ... The right to petition is the freedom of individuals (and sometimes groups and corporations) to petition their government for a correction or repair of some form of injustice without fear of punishment for the same. ...


The country is in a state of war with Israel since May 15, 1948, the next day after Jews declared their independence. 1948 (MCMXLVIII) was a leap year starting on Thursday (the link is to a full 1948 calendar). ... David Ben Gurion (First Prime Minister of Israel) publicly pronouncing the Declaration of the State of Israel, May 14, 1948. ...


Enforcement of Shari'a

"Religious policemen" (Mutaween) are employed by the Committee for the Propagation of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice, a government bureaucracy in Saudia Arabia, to enforce Shari'a Law, including banning the practice (in public) of religions other than Islam. The Mutaween (مطوعين in Arabic) (variant English spellings: mutawwain, muttawa, mutawallees, mutawa’ah, mutawi’) are the government -authorized or -recognized religious police (or clerical police or public order police) within Islamist theocracies which adhere to varied interpretations of Sharia Law, and in which the governments are either directly controlled by, or... The Committee for the Propagation of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice (CPVPV) is a Saudi Arabian police force meant to prevent religious crimes. ... Sharia (Arabic: transliteration: ) is the body of Islamic law. ...


Consultative assembly

A Consultative Assembly of Saudi Arabia (Majlis as-Shura) (150 members and a chairman appointed by the monarch for four-year terms) exist Saudi Arabia has no parliament. ... Majlis as-Shura, Arabic for Parliament, Advisory Council, Consultative Assembly, is a commonly used term for elected or co-opted assemblies with advisory or legislative powers in Arabic-speaking countries. ...

[discuss] – [edit]
Composition of the Consultative Assembly of Saudi Arabia
Members Seats
Appointed members 150
Total 150

Saudi Arabia has no parliament. ...

Political parties and elections

Saudi Arabia has no parliament, instead there is a national "Consultative Council" who are 150 Saudi citizens that are appointed by the king for a period of four years to serve as an advisory role. The size of the council has been increasing steadily over the years, and its does have its own committees and a limited ability to discuss proposed legislation, but its primary function is to advise the king.


No political parties or labor unions are permitted to exist. In the 1990s the Arab Socialist Action Party and the Communist Party of Saudi Arabia were disbanded and their members were released from jail, after agreeing to cease and desist their political activities. The Green Party of Saudi Arabia appears to be the only active political party in the kingdom, but they are an illegal organization. A political party is a political organization subscribing to a certain ideology or formed around very special issues. ... A union (labor union in American English; trade union, sometimes trades union, in British English; either labour union or trade union in Canadian English) is a legal entity consisting of employees or workers having a common interest, such as all the assembly workers for one employer, or all the workers... This article is very long Some browsers may have difficulty rendering this article. ... Arab Socialist Action Party (Hizb al-Umal al-Ishtiraki al-Arabi), was founded in the 1970s by elements of the Arab Nationalist Movement. ... UDYS symbol Communist Party in Saudi Arabia, political party in Saudi Arabia. ... The Green Party of Saudi Arabia (or Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Green Party) is a clandestine political organization in Saudi Arabia, created in 2001. ...


In 2005, the first Saudi Arabian municipal elections were held, but as they were non-partisan elections, no political parties were allowed. This article needs to be updated. ...


Divisions of the kingdom

The kingdom is divided into 13 provinces governed by princes or close relatives of the royal family. All governors are appointed by the King.


Political reform

In March 1992, King Fahd issued several decrees outlining the basic statutes of government and codifying for the first time procedures concerning the royal succession. The King's political reform program also provided for the establishment of a national Consultative Council, with appointed members having advisory powers to review and give advice on issues of public interest. It also outlined a framework for councils at the provincial or emirate level. 1992 (MCMXCII) was a leap year starting on Wednesday. ... King Fahad bin Abdul Aziz al-Saud (Arabic: ‎, b. ...


In September 1993, King Fahd issued additional reform decrees, appointing the members of the national Consultative Council and spelling out procedures for the new council's operations. He announced reforms regarding the Council of Ministers, including term limitations of 4 years and regulations to prohibit conflict of interest for ministers and other high-level officials. The members of 13 provincial councils and the councils' operating regulations also were announced in September 1993. 1993 (MCMXCIII) was a common year starting on Friday of the Gregorian calendar and marked the Beginning of the International Decade to Combat Racism and Racial Discrimination (1993-2003). ... 1993 (MCMXCIII) was a common year starting on Friday of the Gregorian calendar and marked the Beginning of the International Decade to Combat Racism and Racial Discrimination (1993-2003). ...


In July 1997, the membership of the Consultative Council was expanded from 60 to 90 members, and again in May 2001 from 90 to 120 members and then again in 2005 to 150 members. Membership has changed significantly during expansions of the council as many members have not been reappointed. The role of the council is gradually expanding as it gains experience. 1997 (MCMXCVII) was a common year starting on Wednesday of the Gregorian calendar. ... 2001 (MMI) was a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar. ... 2005 (MMV) was a common year starting on Saturday of the Gregorian calendar. ...


Saudi Municipal elections took place in 2005 and some commentators saw this a first tentative step towards the introduction of democratic processes in the Kingdom, including the legalisation of political parties. Other analysts of the Saudi political scene were more skeptical. See [1]. This article needs to be updated. ... Democracy is a form of government under which the power to alter the laws and structures of government lies, ultimately, with the citizenry. ...


Human rights

Saudi courts impose capital punishment and corporal punishment, including amputations of hands and feet for serious robbery, and floggings for lesser crimes such as "sexual deviance" (e.g. homosexuality) and drunkenness. The number of lashes is not clearly prescribed by law and varies according to the discretion of the presiding judges. The number ranges from dozens to several thousand, usually applied over a period of weeks or months. In 2002, the United Nations Committee against Torture criticized Saudi Arabia over the amputations and floggings it carries out under the Shari'a. The Saudi delegation responded defending "legal traditions" held since the inception of Islam in the region 1400 years ago and rejected interference in its legal system. (Source: BBC, see [2]) The situation of human rights in Saudi Arabia is generally considered to be woeful. ... Capital punishment, or the death penalty, is the execution of a convicted criminal by the state as punishment for crimes known as capital crimes or capital offences. ... Corporal punishment is the deliberate infliction of pain intended to correct behavior or to punish. ... Partial hand amputation For the song Amputations by Death Cab for Cutie, see You Can Play these Songs with Chords Amputation is the removal of a body extremity by trauma (also referred to as avulsion) or surgery. ... Whipping on a post Flagellation is the act of whipping (Latin flagellum, whip) the human body. ... Homosexuality refers to sexual interaction and / or romantic attraction between individuals of the same sex. ...


Religious freedom

Saudi Arabia does not permit religious freedom and bans all visible forms of non-Muslim worship. Non-Muslims, as well as Muslims who do not adhere to the Sunni Islam, are advised by Mutawwa'in (the religious police) for acts considered offensive to state ideology. Citizenship is restricted to non-Muslims, but non-Muslims are allowed in many jobs all over the country, regardless of their religions. The government maintains 50 Call and Guidance centers to encourage foreigners to convert to Islam. [3] Religious police enforce a modest code of dress and many institutions from schools to ministries are not co-educational. The kingdom of Saudi Arabia is an Islamic theocratic monarchy without legal protection for freedom of religion, and such protection does not exist in practice. ... Sunni Islam (Arabic سنّة) is the largest denomination of Islam. ... The Mutaween (مطوعين in Arabic) (variant English spellings: mutawwain, muttawa, mutawallees, mutawa’ah, mutawi’) are the government -authorized or -recognized religious police (or clerical police or public order police) who enforce varied interpretations of Sharia Law within Islamist theocracies (in which the governments are either directly controlled by, or fall significantly...


International organization participation

Saudi Arabia is member of the ABEDA, AfDB, AFESD, AL, AMF, BIS, ESCWA, FAO, G-19, G-77, GCC, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, International Maritime Organization, Inmarsat, Intelsat, Interpol, IOC, ISO, ITU, NAM, OAPEC, OAS (observer), OIC, OPCW, OPEC, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTrO (Applicant) The African Development Bank (ADB) is a development bank established in 1964 with the intention of States dollar|$]]47. ... The Arab Fund for Economic and Social Development, or AFESD, is a Kuwait based, pan-Arab development finance institute. ... The Arab League or League of Arab States (Arabic: ‎), is an organization of predominately Arab states (compare Arab world). ... BIS Headquarters in Basel The Bank for International Settlements (or BIS) is an international organization of central banks which exists to foster cooperation among central banks and other agencies in pursuit of monetary and financial stability. It carries out its work through subcommittees, the secretariats it hosts, and through its... The United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (UNESCWA or ESCWA) was established in 1973 (then as the UN Economic Commission for Western Asia) to encourage economic cooperation among its member states. ... The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) is a specialized agency of the United Nations that leads international efforts to defeat hunger. ... link titlelink titlelink titlelink titlelink title--210. ... ... The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) was established as an autonomous organization on July 29, 1957. ... Logo of the World Bank The International Bank for Reconstruction and Development is one of the five institutions consisting the World Bank Group. ... The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), an agency of the United Nations, codifies the principles and techniques of international air navigation and fosters the planning and development of international air transport to ensure safe and orderly growth. ... The International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) is an international organization that works to promote and support global trade and globalization. ... The Red Cross and the Red Crescent emblems, the symbols from which the Movement derives its name. ... The International Development Association (IDA) created on September 24, 1960, is the part of the World Bank that helps the world’s poorest countries. ... Islamic Development Bank (also known as IDB), is a multilateral development financing institution. ... The International Fund for Agricultural Development is an agency of the United Nations. ... The International Finance Corporation (IFC) promotes sustainable private sector investment in developing countries as a way to reduce poverty and improve peoples lives. ... The Red Cross and the Red Crescent emblems, the symbols from which the Movement derives its name. ... The International Labour Organization (ILO) is a specialized agency of the United Nations to deal with labour issues. ... The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is an international organization that oversees the global financial system by observing exchange rates and balance of payments, as well as offering financial and technical assistance when requested. ... Headquarters of the International Maritime Organisation in Lambeth, adjacent to the east end of Lambeth Bridge Headquarters building taken from the west side of the Thames Headquartered in London, U.K., the International Maritime Organization (IMO) promotes cooperation among governments and the shipping industry to improve maritime safety and to... Inmarsat plc is an international telecommunications company founded in 1979, originally as an intergovernmental organization. ... Intelsat, Ltd. ... Interpol, or International Criminal Police Organization, was established as The International Criminal Police Commission in 1923 to assist international criminal police cooperation. ... Alternative meanings at IOC (disambiguation) The International Olympic Committee is an organization based in Lausanne, Switzerland, created by Pierre de Coubertin in 1894 to reinstate the Ancient Olympic Games held in Greece, and organize this sports event every four years. ... The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) is an international standard-setting body composed of representatives from national standards bodies. ... The International Telecommunication Union (ITU; French: Union internationale des télécommunications, Spanish: Unión Internacional de Telecomunicaciones) is an international organization established to standardize and regulate international radio and telecommunications. ... Member states of the Non-Aligned Movement (2005). ... OAPEC was established in 1968 with permanent headquarters in Kuwait It is an instrument of Arab cooperation whose objective is to provide support to the Arab oil industry. ... The Organization of American States (OAS; OEA in the other three official languages) is an international organization, headquartered in Washington, D.C., United States of America. ... The flag of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) OIC redirects here. ... The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) is not an agency of the United Nations. ... Logo The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) is made up of Algeria, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Libya, Nigeria, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Venezuela; since 1965 its international headquarters have been in Vienna, Austria. ... The foundation of the U.N. The United Nations (UN) is an international organization whose stated aims are to facilitate co-operation in international law, international security, economic development, social progress and human rights issues. ... The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) was established in 1963 as a permanent intergovernmental body, UNCTAD is the principal organ of the United Nations General Assembly dealing with trade, investment and development issues. ... UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) is a specialized agency of the United Nations established in 1945. ... United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) is an agency of the United Nations with the mission of helping countries pursue sustainable industrial development, it is a specialist in industrial affairs. ... The Universal Postal Union (UPU, French: Union postale universelle) is an international organization that coordinates postal policies between member nations, and hence the world-wide postal system. ... The World Customs Organization (WCO) is an intergovernmental organization that helps Members (currently Customs administrations from 169 countries) communicate and co-operate on customs issues. ... The World Federation of Trade Unions (WFTU) was established in the wake of the Second World War to bring together trade unions across the world in a single international organization, much like the United Nations. ... The World Health Organization (WHO) is a specialized agency of the United Nations that acts as a coordinating authority on international public health, headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland. ... Headquarters in Geneva The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) is one of the specialized agencies of the United Nations. ... The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) is an intergovernmental organization with a membership of 187 Member States and Territories. ... WTO redirects here. ...


See also

The Mutaween (مطوعين in Arabic) (variant English spellings: mutawwain, muttawa, mutawallees, mutawa’ah, mutawi’) are the government -authorized or -recognized religious police (or clerical police or public order police) within Islamist theocracies which adhere to varied interpretations of Sharia Law, and in which the governments are either directly controlled by, or...

External links

  • Adam Carr's Election Archive

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The Basic Law adopted in 1992 declared that Saudi Arabia is a monarchy ruled by the sons and grandsons of the first king, Abd Al Aziz Al Saud, and that the Qur'an is the constitution of the country, which is governed on the basis of Islamic law (Shari'a).
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