His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said
His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said - The Wise Leader
In 1970, Oman had little physical or administrative infrastructure, and Sultan Qaboos faced the formidable task of turning a backward, impoverished country into a powerful modern state. A communist-backed uprising had erupted in Oman’s southern Dhofar province, and was keeping the small, poorly equipped army fully engaged.
Oman had begun to exploit its oil reserves in the late 1960s but had achieved little development in other sectors. Oman’s health services, education, housing and communications were basic at best. Sultan Qaboos rallied his troops to defeat the insurgents and then launched a drive to unify and modernise the country. When the Sultan marked his 30th anniversary in 2000, he also celebrated the creation of a prosperous and stable modern state that was ready to face the challenges of a new millennium.
Having been transformed into a modern state in just thirty years, Oman’s next challenge is to replace public sector growth with an expanding private sector to enhance future progress and prosperity.In 1996, Oman passed the Basic Law of the State, containing more than 80 articles to clarify every aspect of the state apparatus and to address the fundamental rights and duties of the Omani citizen.
The Basic Law guarantees the equality of all citizens before the law, freedom of religion and of speech, a free press, the right to a fair trial and the right to create national associations. It lays down a legal framework for all future legislation and, as Sultan Qaboos has no children, clarifies the rules of succession.
Article Five asserts that the system of government is a monarchy and that the royal line comprises the male descendants of SayyidTurki bin Said bin Sultan, Sultan Qaboos’ great-great-grandfather. It stipulates that the successor to the throne shall be a Muslim of sound mind and the legitimate son of Omani Muslim parentage. The rules of succession decree that the ruling family council will choose Sultan Qaboos’ successor within three days of the throne falling vacant. Only if the ruling family council fails to reach a consensus will the Defence Council open the letter written by His Majesty naming his choice of successor.
The Sultan's visionary and strong-willed leadership, together with the human resources represented by the people of Oman, has resulted in a sense of individual responsibility and duty towards the country's growth. The concept of shared decision-making and national development by the people and the government has always been evident in His Majesty’s political thinking.
To further this concept, Oman’s population, both male and female, has been provided with full access to education and economic, social and cultural developments, with the Basic Law of the State ensuring the freedom and rights of all citizens. An enlightened system of open meetings at the state level ensures that popular participation is promoted and feelings of social cohesion and loyalty generated.
In November 2002 the right to vote was granted to every Omani citizen, both male and female, over the age of twenty-one years.. All Omani citizens are thus able to vote in the 4th October 2003 elections for the Majlis al Shura’s (Consultation Council) fifth term (2004-2007). In another development, the Supreme Court was created in February 2003. Omani women are increasingly being appointed to Government positions, and the country has leaped in to the modern era in several frontiers.
Source: Ministry Of Information