Majlis Ash’shura Elections
The Wilayat of Wadi Al Ma’awil representative — Khalid bin Hilal al Ma’awali — was just elected chair of the Majlis Ash’shura 7th term. The session – seen by many as historic – was quite spectacular in many ways. In an unprecedented move, it marked the first time the chairman was elected by members under His Majesty Sultan Qaboos’ directives following the Royal Decree No 99/2011, Article 85 (bis 12). Two deputies were elected at the same session, first deputy Salim bin Ali al Ka’abi and second deputy, Abdullah bin Khalifa al Maja’aly. As well, presiding over the session was Salim bin Ali al Khatheri (who is the oldest member). It was practically a full attendance with only one person missing. The secret ballot was supervised by the Majlis Ash’shura General Secretariat. The entire election process was monitored by assistant trustees and legal experts. The event was covered by media.
So why were these elections so different? Well, some of the reasons have been discussed above. But there are other features which also distinguishes them from others that have taken place in the past. Any members that get elected to the 7th Majlis term are subject to increased flexibility vis-à-vis legal and auditory rights and abilities. Second, it is a far more modern and efficient ballot process. Third, the entire process is way more democratic than it’s ever been as it is a far more accurate and representative election – vis-à-vis the peoples’ desires – than it has ever been in the past. This in turn gives credence to democracy in general and democratic confidence in particular of Oman and its Sultanate.
So overall, yesterday’s elections certainly gave the people something to talk about, and something positive at that.