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Constitutional Monarchy in Saudi Arabia

Constitutional Monarchy in Saudi Arabia

More than 100 leading Saudi intellects have recently called for a constitutional monarchy to be established in Saudi Arabia, a kingdom where political groups and public demonstrations are banned...

In a statement published on the internet including Facebook, the Saudi academics, activists and businessmen have requested from King Abdullah numerous political and social reforms to be carried out in the conservative kingdom. Democracy activists in Saudi Arabia have also warned that their government was closely monitoring social media to contain any possible protests inspired by uprisings that swept Arab countries, toppling leaders in Egypt and Tunisia etc. Rumors even circulated that Saudi Arabia offered Mark Zuckerberg $150-billion to buy the social networking site Facebook!

The petition calls for the election rather than appointment of a consultative council, and the creation of a constitutional monarchy - a demand that led to the arrest of many activists in 2003-04.It also calls for greater participation of women in social and political life.

In an interview with Agence France-Presse,one of the 123 signatories of the petition said: "We have high hopes that these reforms will be implemented. Now is the time." Khaled al-Dakhil is a teacher of political science at the King Saud University.

To note that King Abdullah recently made temporary state employees permanent and ordered government organizations to advertise jobs. He also announced an increase in social benefits for Saudis, including a 15 per cent pay rise for state employees and an increase in cash available for housing loans, in an attempt to keep people from protesting.

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