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person > Sultan Qaboos bin Said
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Traditionally reliant on oil revenues, the Gulf country is making tourism a central plank of its economic strategy.
Among the 1300 candidates for the 84-seat advisory council are 77 women contenders, an increase from last time.
Thousands take to the streets in southern city in Gulf state to press for better wages, jobs and end to corruption.
Dozens stage sit-in to demand probes into alleged abuses after clashes with security forces left at least one dead.
Gulf Arab states are being challenged to reform their political and social orders by a population high on hope.
Sean Foley
Sultan Qaboos grants legislative powers to two councils, one elected and another appointed in a bid to stem protests.
Move is the latest in a string of concessions aimed at appeasing protesters demanding jobs and political reforms.
Gulf state's sultan replaces three top government officials as protesters demand an end to corruption and better wages
Demonstrations calling for economic changes continue into third day in northeastern city of Sohar.
Health minister says one person died in anti-government demonstrations, but hospital sources say six people were killed.
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Muslim volunteers face questioning and threat of arrest, while aid has been disrupted or blocked, charities say.
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