More women to join Saudi parliament

Riyadh, Dec 24 (IANS) For the first time, women will represent 10 percent of the 150 seats of the Saudi Shura, or consultative council, in the coming legislative term, Xinhua reported.

The remarkable thing about the new council - the Saudi version of parliament - is that in Saudi Arabia's history women are joining as Shura members for the first time, sources told Elaph e-paper.

Saudi King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud had announced in December 2011 that the next Shura Council would include women.

The Shura Council of Saudi Arabia is the formal advisory body of Saudi Arabia, an absolute monarchy. Though it cannot pass or enforce laws, a power reserved for the king, the assembly has limited powers in government, including the power to propose laws to the king.

It has 150 members, all of whom are appointed by the king.

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