Saudi Arabia

Official name: 
Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
Name in local language: 
المملكة العربيّة السّعوديّة, transliterated as Al-Mamlakatu al-`Arabiyya as-Sa`ūdiyya
Form of government: 
Political system: 
  • Founding date/ Date of independence: 1932 (the kingdom was unified)
  • Date of constitution/reform:  1992 (Basic Law)
  • Form of state: Unitary
  • Administrative divisions: 13 regions (manatiq idariyya), subdivided into 118 governorates (muhafathat)
  • Official language(s):  Arabic
  • Other spoken languages:  English
  • Official religion: Wahabi Islam
  • Minorities: shi'a community; religions other than Islam are not allowed.
  • Dominant actor(s):  royal family (as-Saud)
  • Elected institutions of government: half of local councils
  • Non-elected  institutions of government:  government, consultative council and governors.
  • Party system:  political parties are illegal

Current authorities

  • Head of state: Salman bin Abdulaziz, king, since January 23rd 2015, succeeding his brother Abdullah.
  • Head of government: Salman bin Abdulaziz
  • Minister of Foreign Affairs: Prince Saud al Faisal, since 1975
  • Minister of Interior: Prince Muhammad bin Nayef,since november 2012
  • Head(s) of Legislative Branch: Abdullah ibn Muhammad Al ash-Sheikh
  • Head of the Judiciary: Mohammed Al-Eissa
  • Schematic representation of the political system: Link to PDF