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Politics & Government:
Royal succession mechanism: In Article 5 Basic Law of Government, the royal power passed to the children and grandchildren of the most capable of the founder of Saudi Arabia, Abdul Aziz bin Abdul Rahman Al-Saud. [On October 20, 2006 King Abdullah has to amend this section by issuing a law that established royal succession institutions (allegiance Institution) which consists of the sons and grandsons of King Abdul Aziz Al-Saud. In the new provisions, the King has no longer obtained the full right to select the Crown Prince. King may nominate candidates for Crown Prince, but the King will be chosen based on the voting by the Succession Committee. In addition, if the King or Crown Prince remains incapacitated, the Committee will form the Council of Succession to the Provisional Government (Transitory Ruling Council) consisting of five people. These new provisions will apply after Crown Prince Sultan heired to the throne.]
Executive Board:Council of Ministers (Council of Ministers / Majlis Al-Wuzara) consists of: PM (King serves as the chairman), Deputy Prime Minister, Ministers, Ministers of State, and King’s advisors. Council of Ministers meets every Monday to discuss government policies and evaluate their implementation. The Ministers’ term of duties are usually for 4 years can be extended.
[His Royal Highness Prince Saud Al-Faisal bin Abdul Aziz Al-Saud, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
Legislative branch: Consultative Assembly (Majlis Ash-Shura/Consultative Council) was formed on March 1, 1992. Originally membership only 60 people, then increased to 90 people and 120 people. In 2005 its membership to 150 people and a chairperson appointed by the King with a 4-year period of service.
Judiciary Board:High Council of Justice (Supreme Council of Judiciary / SCJ) regulates judicial and administrative bodies dealing with prosecuting authority (competence). 11 members of the SCJ are selected from prominent scholars.
In addition, there is also a special section for out of court disputes settlement. [Decree of the King dated 2 April 2005 has approved the restructuring of the judicial body according to the arrangement mentioned above, including the revised name of the Supreme Judicial Council to the Supreme Council of Judiciary)
Council of Senior Ulema:The Council of Senior Ulema was formed in 1971 by King Faisal. It is an important body which advices the King and the Cabinet Council so that the government policy is in accordance with the Sharia law.
Elections: Election of the half of the members of Municipal Council (Municipality Council) began in 2005 (for a 4-years period of service). Terms of voters: Saudi’s citizen who’s already at least 21 years of age and not a member of the military (women not included). [Top four Gulf states which allow women to participate in the election: Qatar, Oman, Bahrain, and Kuwait]
Local Government: In 16 September 1993, a provincial system which divided Saudi Arabia into 13 provinces (Mintaqat) is formed. Each province is led by a provincial governor (Amir) with the level of ministers and accountable to the Minister of Internal affairs. Each province is divided again into a District (Muhafaz) which led by District Governor (Muhafiz). Then each district is divided again into sub-districts which are led by a Head of Sub-District.
In every province there is also a Provincial Council which consists of: the Governor (as chairman), Deputy Governor (vice chairman), Undersecretary of Governors, Chief representative in the provincial government departments, and at least 10 representative of the local community. Riyadh, Mecca, and Medina have 20 members of the Provincial Council, while others capital amounted to 15 people.
Starting from 2006, the Government has established 178 Municipal Council which half of its members (592 people) were elected by a popular vote, while others were appointed. Each Municipal Council consists of at least 4 members and a maximum of 14 members. Municipal Council consists of at least 4 members and a maximum of 14 members. The Council monitors the performance of Municipality. Council monitors the performance of the Municipal (Municipality).
Defence and Security:Divided into three subsystems, namely:
Head of Intelligence: Prince Muqrin bin Abdul Aziz (since October 2005, the former Amir Medina).
Potential threats:Smuggling of drugs, alcoholic beverages, firearms, and explosives which are brought in by a passer-line through the isolated border areas and unoccupied; determination of boundary lines that have not been completed with several neighboring countries; militant groups that grew from solidarity against the oppression of Muslims in various parts of the world; illegal immigrants who did not return to his country after the conduct of pilgrimage and umrahMembership in the international organizations:
Arab League (1945, founder); United Nations (1945); OKI (1969, founder); GNB; GCC (1981, founder); WTO (2005).
Education:Educational level consists of:
Mass Media: Controlled by the Government and very limited according to customs and religion. Television and radio stations are owned by the government under the Ministry of Information. But there are several television and radio stations owned by the Saudi private sector broadcast from neighboring countries, such as: TV Al-Majid and MBC FM radio.
Newspapers: 9 Arabic-language newspapers: Ar-Riyadh, Al-Jazeerah (based in Riyadh), Al-Bilad, Al-Madina, Okaz, Al-Eqtisadiah (Jeddah), Al-Watan (Abha), An-Nadwa (Mecca), and Al -Yaum (Dammam).
2 English-language newspapers are based in Jeddah: Arab News and The Saudi Gazette (part of Okaz). In addition there are 2 Arabic-language newspapers published in London: Asharq Al-Awsat (part of the Arab News) and Al-Hayat.These newspapers are owned by top publishing companies such as: AlYamama [owner of Ar-Riyadh], Okaz [Okaz owners and The Saudi Gazette], SRMG / Saudi Reasearch & Marketing Group leader Prince Faisal bin Salman bin Abdul Aziz Al-Saud [ Al-Eqtisadiah, Arab News, Asharq Al-Awsat].
Television: Government-owned TV station with 4 channels: Saudi 1, Saudi 2 (speaks English & French language news bulletin), Ar-Riyadiyah (Sports channels), Al-Ekhbariya (news channels). However, approximately 90% of Saudis using satellite TV news channel with the most popular are: Al-Arabiya (based in Dubai; operating in February 2003) and Al-Jazeera (based in Doha; operating in November 1996). [Every Thursday night for a half-hour, television Al-Majd Saudi Arabia privately owned broadcast on the activities of the Indonesian community in the country. Several private television broadcasting in Indonesia are also captured through the satellite TV, such as: Indosiar, ANTV, TPI]
Radio: Broadcasting Service of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia: Dammam 882 KHz; Jeddah 648 KHz, 684 KHz, 1485 KHz; 585 KHz Riyadh. FM 98.0 MHz (Riyadh); 98.0 MHz (Jeddah). [Every day from 13:00 to 15:00 is broadcast from the Indonesian section of the station emitted from Jeddah to Indonesia]
National News Agency: Saudi Press Agency (SPA).News on the Internet: www.arabnews.com; www.saudinf.com; www.mofa.gov.sa; www.saudiembassy.net;www.sama.gov.sa.
The ruling periods of the kings of Saudi Arabia:
A brief biography:King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz Al-Saud: King Abdullah was born in 1924 in Riyadh. He had never tasted overseas education, and remained in the country. In 1962, Prince Abdullah was appointed as Commander of the National Guard (National Guard), one of the most important divisions of the armed forces of Saudi Arabia. When King Khalid bin Abdul Aziz heired to the throne in 1975, Prince Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz was appointed Second Deputy Prime Minister and the Prince Fahd bin Abdul Aziz established as Crown Prince and concurrently Deputy Prime Minister I. Then when King Fahd was appointed to replace King Khalid who died in 1982, he chose Prince Abdullah as Crown Prince and concurrently Deputy Prime Minister I. Prince Sultan bin Abdul Aziz as Deputy Prime Minister II. In August 1, 2005 Abdullah was appointed as the King of Saudi Arabia after the death of King Fahd.
Crown Prince Sultan bin Abdul Aziz Al-Saud: Crown Prince Sultan bin Abdul Aziz was born in Riyadh in 1928. He is the younger brother of the late King Fahd. In the course of his career he has served as Governor of Riyadh (1947), Minister of Agriculture (1953), Minister of Communications (1955), and since 1962 served as Minister of Defense and Aerospace. In 1982 Prince Sultan was appointed by the late King Fahd as Second Deputy Prime Minister. After Prince Abdullah was chosen as the new king, he immediately lifted the Prince Sultan as Crown Prince on August 1, 2005.
Second Deputy Prime Minister / Minister of Interior Prince Naif bin Abdul Aziz: Prince Naif bin Abdul Aziz was born in Taif in 1934. He began his political life as the Secretary General Riyadh Province in 1952. In 1953 he was appointed as the Governor of Riyadh. Prince Naif had experienced special education for the royalties from senior clerics teachers. Before serving as Minister of Internal affairs, Prince Naif served as Deputy Minister of Internal affairs for 5 years. During the incident of terrorism in Saudi Arabia in the year 2003 Prince Naif was well-knowned as a very strong figure in maintaining security and peace of the state. Prince Naif played an important role in assisting foreign aid to the people of Lebanon and Palestine during the war carried out by Israel in southern Lebanon and Gaza. Prince Naif also regarded as the backbone of the implementation of the pilgrimage, where he chaired the Higher Hajj Committee.
Foreign Minister Prince Saud Al-Faisal bin Abdul Aziz Al-Saud: Foreign Minister Saud al-Faisal was born in Riyadh in 1940, as the son of King Faisal. He completed his undergraduate education at the University of Princeton Economics, United States. Prince Saud was working as an advisor in the Ministry of Petroleum and Mining. Then he moved to Petromin, leading Relations Bureau of Petroleum and Vice Governor Petromin. After King Faisal's death, he became Minister of State for Foreign Affairs. (October 13, 1975) and was appointed Minister of Foreign Affairs until present time.
Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Dr. Nizar Obaid Madani: Nizar Obaid Madani was born in Medina in 1941. He earned his Doctor of International Relations in 1977 from the University of Washington, DC He is a career diplomat with the last position as Assistant Secretary of State (minister level). In July 24, 2005 King Fahd appointed him as Minister of State for Foreign Affairs.
Cabinet Ministers of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia: [As of the last reshuffle cabinet on February 14, 2009]
Despite that, King Abdullah bin Abdul Azis also appointed: