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Oman: Government#

Country nameconventional long form: Sultanate of Oman
conventional short form: Oman
local long form: Saltanat Uman
local short form: Uman
former: Muscat and Oman
CapitalMuscat Muscat
geographic coordinates: 23 37 N, 58 35 E
time difference: UTC+4 (9 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
Administrative divisions11 governorates (muhafazat, singular - muhafazat); Ad Dakhiliyah, Al Buraymi, Al Wusta, Az Zahirah, Janub al Batinah (Al Batinah South), Janub ash Sharqiyah (Ash Sharqiyah South), Masqat (Muscat), Musandam, Shamal al Batinah (Al Batinah North), Shamal ash Sharqiyah (Ash Sharqiyah North), Zufar (Dhofar)
Constitutionprevious 1996 (The Basic Law of the Sultanate of Oman serves as the constitution); latest amended by royal decree in 2011 (2011)
Executive branchchief of state: Sultan and Prime Minister QABOOS bin Said Al-Said (sultan since 23 July 1970 and prime minister since 23 July 1972); note - the monarch is both the chief of state and head of government
head of government: Sultan and Prime Minister QABOOS bin Said Al-Said (sultan since 23 July 1970 and prime minister since 23 July 1972)
cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the monarch
elections: the Ruling Family Council determines a successor from the Sultan's extended family; if the Council cannot form a consensus within three days of the Sultan's death or incapacitation, the Defense Council will relay a predetermined heir as chosen by the Sultan
Flag descriptionthree horizontal bands of white, red, and green of equal width with a broad, vertical, red band on the hoist side; the national emblem (a khanjar dagger in its sheath superimposed on two crossed swords in scabbards) in white is centered near the top of the vertical band; white represents peace and prosperity, red recalls battles against foreign invaders, and green symbolizes the Jebel Akhdar (Green Mountains) and fertility
Independence1650 (expulsion of the Portuguese)
Judicial branchhighest court(s): Supreme Court (consists of 5 judges)
judge selection and term of office: judges nominated by the 9-member Supreme Judicial Council (chaired by the monarch) and appointed by the monarch; judge tenure NA
subordinate courts: Courts of Appeal; Courts of First Instance; sharia courts; magistrates' courts
Legal systemmixed legal system of Anglo-Saxon law and Islamic law
Legislative branchbicameral - consists of Majlis al-Dawla or upper chamber (71 seats; members appointed by the sultan; has only advisory powers) and Majlis al-Shura or lower chamber (84 seats; members elected by popular vote to serve four-year terms; body has authority to draft legislation but is subordinate to the Sultan)
elections: (Majlis al-Shura) last held on 15 October 2011 (next to be held in October 2015)
election results: percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - NA; note - three prominent figures from the Arab Spring 2011 protests won seats; one woman also won a seat
International organization participationABEDA, AFESD, AMF, CAEU, FAO, G-77, GCC, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (NGOs), IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, LAS, MIGA, NAM, OIC, OPCW, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU (NGOs), WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
National holidayBirthday of Sultan QABOOS, 18 November (1940)
Political pressure groups and leadersnone
Political parties and leaderspolitical parties are illegal
Suffrage21 years of age; universal; note - members of the military and security forces by law cannot vote
Government typemonarchy
Diplomatic representation in the USchief of mission: Ambassador Hunaina bint Sultan bin Ahmad al-MUGHAIRI (since 9 November 2005)
chancery: 2535 Belmont Road, NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: (1) (202) 387-1980
FAX: (1) (202) 745-4933
National anthemname: "Nashid as-Salaam as-Sultani" (The Sultan's Anthem)
lyrics/music: Rashid bin Uzayyiz al KHUSAIDI/James Frederick MILLS, arranged by Bernard EBBINGHAUS
note: adopted 1932; new words were written after QABOOS bin Said al Said gained power in 1970; the anthem was first performed by the band of a British ship as a salute to the Sultan during a 1932 visit to Muscat; the bandmaster of the HMS Hawkins was asked to write a salutation to the Sultan on the occasion of his visiting the ship
International law organization participationhas not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; non-party state to the ICCt
National symbol(s)Khanjar dagger superimposed on two crossed swords
Diplomatic representation from the USchief of mission: Ambassador Greta C. HOLTZ (since 27 September 2012)
embassy: Jamait Ad Duwal Al Arabiyya Street, Al Khuwair area, Muscat
mailing address: P. O. Box 202, P.C. 115, Madinat Al Sultan Qaboos, Muscat
telephone: (968) 24-643-400
FAX: (968) 24-64-37-40