Riyadh, Asharq Al-Awsat- The majority of Saudi Arabia ’s Shura Council (Consultative Council) members declined to include a debate on women and driving in the Council’s upcoming session, to be held over two days, next Sunday and Monday, where seven issues will be discussed.
The coming week will see the last four sessions of the Council, after which members will begin their 45 day summer vacation. Accordingly, the consultative body will debate a number of
political, social, and economic matters.
Fahd al Juwair, a spokesman for the Media and PR Department of the Council told Asharq Al Awsat that four issues will be examined next Sunday, beginning with a vote on the recommendations of the Transportation and Communications Committee on civil aviation tariffs. Other topics to be discussed are the recommendations of the yearly report by the Education Affairs Committee, the Gulf Cooperation Council’s agreement to combat terrorism, and member’s notes on the government’s competitions and purchases scheme.
On Monday, according to al Juwair, members will debate Saudi Arabia ’s forthcoming comprehensive development plan and decide whether to agree on the conclusions of a report by the financial work group for the Middle East on money laundering. In addition, the Council will review a proposed agreement in the judicial field between the Kingdom and Kazakhstan and assess a memorandum of understanding between the Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Uzbekistan . The body will then suspend its activities until the next academic year.
Regarding the controversy that greeted Dr. Mohammed al Zulfa’s announcement on women and driving, al Juwair said the proposals will not be included in the Council’s last session, as the majority of members refused to do so. He indicated that women were regularly asked to appear in front of the consultative body to discuss matters that relate to employment and dowries. There were, however, no plans to create a permanent female consultative committee, although one might be initiated in the future, if need be.