Saudi Arabia Govt.: National

Saudi Arabia Govt.: National Last updated on Sunday 25th April 2010

Saudi Arabia is a monarchy. Its official name is the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Its constitution is the Holy Quran and the Muslim law, Shari'a, which is based on the Holy Qur'an.

The Basic System of Government states:

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is an Arab Islamic state of total sovereignty. Islam is its religion and its constitution is the Holy Book of God (the Quran) and the Sunna of His Prophet, peace be upon Him. Its language is the Arabic language and its capital is Riyadh.

Directed by the Sharia, the King is the head of state and the Prime Minister. There is a Council of Ministers, which is appointed by the King and who help him in formulating and executing his policies. The King is also Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces. All government officials, agencies and the ministers themselves are responsible to the King whose title is Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques.

The King is assisted in his duties by the Crown Prince who is the Deputy Prime Minister and also by the second Deputy Prime Minister.

The linchpin of Saudi government policy is the majlis, an open meeting where anyone can petition his leaders from the King down to the governors of the provinces and local leaders. In other words, the leaders are accessible to the people.

Stability plays an important part in the government and is valued by both people and leaders. This stability is supported by strict, swift and just application of Sharia law. This unique Islamic approach makes the Kingdom one of the safest countries in the world in which the atmosphere is conducive to progress and peace of mind.

A top government priority is the safeguarding of Saudi traditions and Islamic teachings so that any progress will not infringe or alter valued traditions and practices. The government unfailingly promotes goodwill, understanding, compassion and unity among its people.

On 29 February 1992, the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques announced basic government reforms including:

83 articles for the Basic System of Government with guarantees for the sanctity of home and personal freedom

30 articles governing the Consultative Council which is to consist of 60 members and a Speaker

39 articles specifying the rules for the Provincial System governing the different areas of the country

The Basic System of Government consists of important articles concerning general principles and the monarchy itself which is to be limited to the sons and grandsons of the Kingdom's founder, Abdul Aziz bin Abdul Rahman Al-Saud.

The one deemed most suitable will become King under the guidance of the Holy Quran and the Sunna of the Prophet (peace be upon Him). The Basic System of Government also asserts that the King will appoint the Crown Prince and will have the power to relieve him from his duty by a Royal Order.

Laws relating to Saudi society, economic principles, rights and duties, governmental authorities regarding the judicial, executive and regulatory branches, monetary affairs, control and general rule are also included in the 83 articles.

The rules governing the Consultative Council will replace earlier ones. All regulations, instructions and resolutions valid until the implementation of the new system are to continue until they are amended. Members of the Consultative Council must be of good reputation, well-qualified, educated and Saudi nationals by birth and origin. The rules are spelled out in detail in a fashion similar to other parliamentary bodies but in a Saudi spirit.

The Rules for the Provincial System specify the goal of raising the standard for administrative work and development in all parts of the Kingdom. It insists on safeguarding law and order and protecting the rights of citizens and their freedoms within Islamic Sharia. The articles cover the rules for the different provinces and emirates, the responsibilities of those in power, annual meetings between provincial leaders and the Minister of the Interior, the meeting of provincial officials with local directors, district managers and their appointments, the formation of Provincial Councils throughout the country and the rules and regulations governing them.

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