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Saudi Arabia

Yearbook 1999

Saudi Arabia. The daily life in Saudi Arabia was characterized by the country's continued poor economy during the year, caused by the oil price was low in 1998. According to Countryaah official website, the government announced austerity in the defense, increased the gasoline price by 50% to $ 0.24 (about SEK 2) per liter and doubled the cost of renew the work permit that the 6.5 million foreigners working in Saudi Arabia need. In addition, a body called the Higher Economic Council was formed with the task of stimulating investment, creating jobs for Saudi citizens and facilitating the privatization of companies.

At a meeting in Riyadh in November, the six Gulf Gulf Cooperation Council Arab states agreed to establish a customs union to enter into force in 2005. Negotiations were particularly difficult between closed Saudi Arabia and the more free-trade United Arab Emirates.

In October, about twenty women were present for the first time at a session in the country's parliament, the advisory body majlis ash-shura. The women in Saudi Arabia are completely cut off from political life Do not drive or hold your own ID card.

In early December, a Pakistani convicted of murder was executed. So far during the year, 102 people had been executed, compared with 29 throughout 1998. Saudi Arabia's Sheikh died in May 87 years old. Through a royal decree, Sheikh Abd al-Aziz ibn Abd Allah ash-Shaykh was appointed a new great Mufti. King Fahd's eldest son died in August of a heart attack. However, he was not a follower of the throne.

Saudi Arabia was severely affected during the year by this year's drought in the Middle East.

1999 Saudi Arabia

In August, the government announced that the municipal elections would be held in early November. The election was the first step towards democracy since the Saud family had introduced monopoly in the country 70 years earlier. The first phase of the election would consist of elections to 180 municipal councils in Riyadh and would be initiated after the end of the Muslim fasting month, Ramadan. The elections would take place in the other parts of the country in the months that followed. Only in the southern and eastern part of the country before Haj in mid-January 2005. At this time, no age for voting or voting rights had yet been set, and the position of women was still not entirely clear.

Foreign journalists have stated that the Saudi government promoted the process of democratization under pressure from the United States - after decades of superpower defending the monarchy of the country. For the opposition that demanded general elections, the municipal elections were just a small opening on the part of the regime. It continued its criticism of unemployment, corruption and lack of freedom of expression.

In December 2004, at least 7 people died during an attack on the United States Consulate in Jeddah in the western part of the country. 4 of these were Saudi guards guarding the consulate. In January 2005, two major explosions took place when suspected al-Qaeda activists attacked the Interior Ministry in Riyadh.

In February 2005, the planned municipal elections were carried out - without female participation. Women still have no voting rights.

After King Fahd died in August, Crown Prince Abdullah was inaugurated as new king, prime minister and sultan. He appointed the Minister of Defense as his Crown Prince.

After 12 years of negotiations, Saudi Arabia became a member of the WTO in November in November. Industry and Trade Minister Hashim Yamani declared that it was "a highlight of economic and structural reforms that Saudi Arabia has initiated".

 

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