Friday 22 January 2021
 
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His Majesty Sultan Haitham Bin Tarik

Oman to have crown prince in constitutional shake-up

MUSCAT, 9 days ago

His Majesty Sultan Haitham Bin Tarik of Oman has issued Royal Decrees envisaging major changes to the constitution, including the appointment of a crown prince for the first time.
 
The new rules will respond to the needs of the Sultanate over the coming years and conform with the strategic Vision Oman 2040, said a Oman News Agency report.
 
The Royal Decree No. 6/2021, which promulgates a new Basic Law of the State, focuses on the following points:
* Setting a specific and stable mechanism for the transfer of power in the Sultanate;
* Sets a mechanism for the appointment of a Crown Prince and outlines his duties, specialisations and prerogatives;
* Reaffirms the principle of ‘rule of the law’, the independence of the judiciary and justice as basic pillars of rule in the country;
* Underscores the state’s role in sponsoring citizens’ rights and liberties, notably: Equality between men and women, child care, rights of the disabled and youth welfare; Compulsory education until the end of the Basic Education stage; encouraging the setting up of universities, promoting scholarly research and sponsoring the talented and innovators; the right to decent life, human dignity, safe and secure life, the inviolability of private life and that prisons as institutions of reform.
* Protection of the heritage and considering its breach or trading in it a crime punishable by law;
 
The Basic Law also dedicated a full chapter to the Governance of State Institutions, the follow-up of government performance and the monitoring of the same through a committee that reports directly to His Majesty the Sultan. The committee shall be tasked with following up and assessing the performance of ministers, under-secretaries and officials of similar ranking. The role of the State’s Financial and Administrative Audit Institution shall be enhanced in this respect.
 
The law reiterates the importance of establishing a system for local administration. It also underscores the role of the Council of Oman and its contribution to the country’s comprehensive development. Accordingly, the Basic Law of the State dedicated a special chapter to the Council of Oman that included the most important provisions related to this Council and the specialisations entrusted to it, including:
* Endorsing or amending laws to be forwarded by the government, as well as proposals on draft laws, development plans and state budgets. It also sets standards for follow-up of the Majlis A’Shura.
 
As for the Council of Oman law, Royal Decree No. 7/2021 has defined its prerogatives, conditions for its membership and all rights and duties of its members and other affairs of the Council, said the report.



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