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Oman Government
Capital:
Muscat
Country name:
conventional long form: Sultanate of Oman
conventional short form: Oman
local long form: Saltanat Uman
former: Muscat and Oman
local short form: Uman
Government type:
monarchy
Administrative divisions:
6 regions (mintaqat, singular - mintaqah) and 2 governorates* (muhafazat, singular - muhafazah) Ad Dakhiliyah, Al Batinah, Al Wusta, Ash Sharqiyah, Az Zahirah, Masqat, Musandam*, Zufar*; note - the US Embassy in Oman reports that Masqat is a governorate, but this has not been confirmed by the US Board on Geographic Names (BGN)
Independence:
1650 (expulsion of the Portuguese)
National holiday:
Birthday of Sultan QABOOS, 18 November (1940)
Constitution:
none; note - on 6 November 1996, Sultan QABOOS issued a royal decree promulgating a new basic law which, among other things, clarifies the royal succession, provides for a prime minister, bars ministers from holding interests in companies doing business with the government, establishes a bicameral legislature, and guarantees basic civil liberties for Omani citizens
Legal system:
based on English common law and Islamic law; ultimate appeal to the monarch; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction
Suffrage:
in Oman's most recent elections in 2000, limited to approximately 175,000 Omanis chosen by the government to vote in elections for the Majlis al-Shura
Executive branch:
chief of state: Sultan and Prime Minister QABOOS bin Said Al Said (since 23 July 1970); note - the monarch is both the chief of state and head of government
head of government: Sultan and Prime Minister QABOOS bin Said Al Said (since 23 July 1970); note - the monarch is both the chief of state and head of government
cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the monarch
elections: none; the monarch is hereditary
Legislative branch:
bicameral Majlis Oman consists of an upper chamber or Majlis al-Dawla (48 seats; members appointed by the monarch; has advisory powers only) and a lower chamber or Majlis al-Shura (83 seats; members elected by limited suffrage for three-year term, however, the monarch makes final selections and can negate election results; body has some limited power to propose legislation, but otherwise has only advisory powers)
elections: last held 4 October 2003 (next to be held NA 2006)
election results: NA
Judicial branch:
Supreme Court
note: the nascent civil court system, administered by region, has non-Islamic judges as well as traditional Islamic judges
Political parties and leaders:
none
Political pressure groups and leaders:
none
International organization participation:
ABEDA, AFESD, AMF, FAO, G-77, GCC, IBRD, ICAO, ICCt (signatory), IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, ISO, ITU, LAS, NAM, OIC, OPCW, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTrO
Diplomatic representation in the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Muhammad bin Ali bin Thani AL-KHUSSAIBY
chancery: 2535 Belmont Road, NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 387-1980 through 1981, 1988
FAX: [1] (202) 745-4933
Diplomatic representation from the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Richard Lewis BALTIMORE III
embassy: Jameat A'Duwal Al Arabiya Street, Al Khuwair area, Muscat
mailing address: P. O. Box 202, P.C. 115, Madinat Al-Sultan Qaboos, Muscat
telephone: [968] 698989, extension 203
FAX: [968] 699771
Flag description:
three horizontal bands of white, red, and green of equal width with a broad, vertical, red band on the hoist side; the national emblem (a khanjar dagger in its sheath superimposed on two crossed swords in scabbards) in white is centered near the top of the vertical band
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