Saudi Arabia Government System Overview

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34 - Saudi Arabia Government System

After 30 years of intermittent warfare over much of the Arabian peninsula, the late King Abdul Aziz Ibn Abdul Rahman Al-Faisal Al-Saud completed his consolidation of the Kingdom of Hejaz and the Kingdom of Nejd into the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in 1932.1 The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is an independent Islamic monarchy. His Majesty King Abdullah Ibn Abdul Aziz Al-Saud, Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, has been the head of state since August 1, 2005. The King governs through a Council of Ministers, 2 on which he serves as President. The King is assisted by His Royal Highness Crown Prince Sultan Ibn Abdul Aziz Al-Saud, the First Deputy Premier; His Royal Highness Crown Prince Nayef Ibn Abdul Aziz Al-Saud, the Second Deputy Premier; and by his other Ministers.

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The Basic Law of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia 3 reaffirmed the Kingdom’s status as an Islamic monarchy and formalized its system of government. In 1993, the Consultative Council was constituted as an advisory body to the Council of Ministers, with responsibility for advising on the policies of the Kingdom, reviewing and commenting on laws, bylaws, contracts, international agreements and special rights; and providing suggestions in connection with annual reports prepared by the Ministries.

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is divided into 13 provinces, each of which is administered by a provincial governor appointed by the King. Provinces are subdivided into governorates, districts and centers. Each provincial governor is assisted by a vice governor. These, together with not less than 10 other members approved by the Minister of Interior and appointed by the King on the nomination of the provincial governor, constitute the provincial councils. The provincial councils are empowered to determine the development needs of their respective provinces, make recommendations for projects and improvements and request appropriations in the annual state budget. Any member of a provisional council is entitled to submit written proposals to the provincial governor and every proposal will be placed on the council’s agenda for consideration.

~ Latham & Watkins LLP , 2010 ~

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