Oman ruler expands role of elected council

AP News
Posted: Oct 20, 2011 3:12 AM
Oman ruler expands role of elected council

Oman's ruler is expanding the political voice of elected officials as part of promised reforms after unprecedented unrest in the Arabian peninsula nation.

Royal decrees published Thursday widen the powers of an 84-seat council that previously had only an advisory role. The members of the Shura Council can now take part in proposing laws to Oman's ruler and can also suggest changes in government regulations.

Sultan Qaboos bin Said had pledged to boost the role of the Shura Council after protests and clashes earlier this year by demonstrators seeking more jobs and political openness. Shura elections were held last week.

The sultan also met Wednesday with visiting U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton.