PROFILE-Oman's Sultan Qaboos bin Said
Friday March 25, 2011 03:00:11 AM GMT
Incumbent: Qaboos bin Said
Date of Birth: November 18, 1940
Term: Monarchy, in position since July 1970
-- He became Sultan in July 1970 after deposing his father in a palace coup with the aim of ending the country's isolation and using its oil revenue for modernisation and development.
-- Sultan Qaboos exercises absolute power in a country where political parties are banned.
-- Oman has been ruled by the al-Said family since 1744 and has longstanding military and political ties with the United States and Britain, although it maintains an independent foreign policy.
-- Qaboos appoints cabinet members and in 1992 he allowed the creation of a quasi-parliament, the Shura Council, whose 84 members are elected by constituents in 61 districts. But the assembly only advises and has no legislative powers.
-- There is concern in the population about succession in the country, as there is no heir apparent or any clear legislation on who may be the next Sultan.
-- He is looking to redirect subsidies without weakening the living standards of low and middle-income earners.
-- Protesters have complained about corrupt ministers, high unemployment and the lack of a parliament with legislative powers. About 70 percent of the population are Omani nationals.
-- The Sultan attended the Royal Military Academy in Sandhurst, England.
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