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Saudi Shura Council Prepares to Make History - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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Journalists being shown the auditorium of the Saudi Arabia's  Shura (Consultative) Council headquarters in Riyadh during a visit February 7, 2005. (REUTERS/Zainal Abd Halim)

Journalists being shown the auditorium of the Saudi Arabia’s Shura (Consultative) Council headquarters in Riyadh during a visit February 7, 2005. (REUTERS/Zainal Abd Halim)

Riyadh, Asharq Al-Awsat – For the first time in its history, 30 Saudi female Shura Council members are preparing to be sworn in before King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz, alongside their male colleagues. This is in preparation for the first Shura Council session of the new hijra year.

Dr. Ahmed Al-Suhaimi, Secretary-General of the Council’s Sessions Affairs, informed Asharq Al-Awsat that the 150 Shura Council members will be invited to attend the first Council session after being sworn-in in front of King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz, including the newly appointed 30 female Council members.

Sources within the Shura Council informed Asharq Al-Awsat that the required arrangements have been completed to prepare the Council for female members, including partitions within the council chamber as well as the provision of offices. In addition to this, special entrance and exits for female Shura Council members and administrators will also be completed by the end of the week.

The source, who spoke to Asharq Al-Awsat on the condition of anonymity, revealed that the swearing–in session will take place within the current week, without specifying a particular day.

For his part, Dr. Fahad Al-Hamad, Assistant Chairman of the Shura Council, told Asharq Al-Awsat that the Council had yet to receive any specific date from the Royal Court regarding the first session.

He confirmed that the Shura Council will be ready to hold sessions as early as Sunday. He said “all of the preparations to receive female Shura Council members will be completed by Friday, and there is a session scheduled should the oaths be taken before then.”

Article 11 of the Shura Council statute states: “Prior to assumption of their duties, the chairman, the members and the Secretary-General of the Shura Council shall be sworn in before the King:

“I swear by God Almighty to be loyal to my religion, then to my King and country. I swear not to reveal any of the State’s secrets, to protect its interests and laws, and to perform my duties with sincerity, integrity, loyalty and fairness.”