More powers for Parliament


Sultan Qaboos bin Said al-Said has prposed a number of reforms following persistent protests in the country.

An elected lower house with an appointed upper house is proposed.  Currently there is a Majlis al-Dawla or upper chamber and elected Majlis al-Shura or lower chamber but both have advisory powers only.  The Sultan is suggesting that the new system will have the power to draw up laws and have oversight on the executive. 

The Sultan is also proposing a council of experts to draw up a new constitution within 30 days.

In other changes announced, social assistance for needy families will be doubled and pensions for state workers increased by 50%.  There are also new heads for the polic and customs, both of which had been criticised.

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