Academic journal article The Middle East Journal

Chronology: Saudi Arabia

Academic journal article The Middle East Journal

Chronology: Saudi Arabia

Article excerpt

See also Regional Affairs, Petroleum Affairs

Apr. 21: Two suspected militants and one member of the Saudi security forces were killed in a gun battle in Mecca. The clash coincided with local elections in Mecca and nearby areas. [JT, 4/22]

Apr. 23: Conservative candidates swept the third and final round of Saudi Arabia's first municipal elections. Just over 300,000 Saudi men cast their ballots in the nationwide elections that began in February. The results furthered the already strong showing of Islamists, who won all the seats on the municipal councils in the holy cities of Mecca and Medina. Islamists also did well in the north, as well as in Red Sea city of Jidda. [AP, 4/23]

May 2: Foreign nationals flocked to Saudi immigration offices, as a law passed in October 2004 allowing non-Saudis who have lived in the kingdom for 10 years or more to be naturalized, was put into force. Under the law, citizenship would be awarded through a points system, with educational, professional qualifications, and family links with Saudi nationals taken into final consideration. [BBC, 5/2]

May 15: Three reformists - 'Ali al-Dimaini, 'Abdullah al-Hamid and Matruk al-Falih - were sentenced to between six and nine years imprisonment on charges of "stirring up sedition and disobeying the ruler." They were arrested in March 2004 for urging Saudi Arabia's rulers to move toward a constitutional monarchy. Other activists arrested in March last year were later released after promising to stop calling for reforms. [BBC, 5/15]

May 28: King Fahd was admitted to King Faysal hospital in Riyadh amid conflicting reports about the state of his health. Saudi authorities said the King, who was in his early 80s, was in good health. In 1995 Fahd suffered a stroke, and Crown Prince 'Abdullah performed most of his functions since then. …

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