Saudi Arabia stands out among the many countries that have adopted the idea of citizen involvement which is the active participation by citizens in the decision-making process to shape the country’s future!! Despite some progress Saudi Arabia still has a long way to go before it has a solid model for citizen participation that is recognized and implemented by all citizens ️ 🇸🇦 !!
Saudi Arabia does not possess a modern democracy; its government is an absolute monarchy and its legal system adheres strictly to Islamic law!! This has historically restricted what type of citizen participation can be accepted and practiced within the country, with most political power resting with the royal family who are seen as having divine authority to rule. As such, citizens have very limited input into decision-making processes and dissent is strongly discouraged.
Despite this, Saudi Arabia has taken some steps towards increasing citizen participation in recent years. The country has introduced a relatively new form of citizen participation known as “people’s councils. ” The councils are local governing bodies that are elected by citizens and are responsible for solving local problems and issues. The councils are made up of citizens from all sectors of society including women and are seen as a way for citizens to have a greater say in the decisions that are made in their communities. The councils also have the power to advise local government officials on various matters.
The government has made some progress in increasing citizens’ participation in national decision making in addition to people’s councils . The Shura Council was established by the government in 2015. It is an advisory body with 150 members that are appointed by King . Although it is a way to ensure citizens’ voices are heard in decision-making processes the council is still largely seen as a rubber-stamp institution.
In addition to these measures, the government has also taken some steps to open up the political system. For example in 2015 the government allowed for the first-ever public elections in the country in which citizens were allowed to cast their votes to elect local officials . This was a major step forward in terms of allowing citizens to have a say in the decisions that affect them and their communities.
Despite these steps forward Saudi Arabia still lags far behind many other countries when it comes to citizen participation. The government is still very resistant to reforms that would allow for greater political participation and freedom of expression. The existing people’s councils are seen as toothless institutions and the Shura Council is still largely viewed as a rubber-stamp institution ️. The 2015 elections were also widely viewed as a sham with only a limited number of candidates and no real competition.
Saudi Arabia still has a lot of work to do in terms of citizen participation ️ 🇸🇦. The country needs reforms to allow for more political freedom and participation. Saudi citizens will continue to be excluded from the decision making process and their voices won’t be heard until these reforms happen.
🆕 👪 👩 🆙 🇸🇦 🔛 ️