Some 120 Saudi academics, activists and businessmen have called for major reforms including the establishment of a "constitutional monarchy" in the kingdom, in a statement posted Sunday on the Internet. "We will submit these requests to King Abdullah at a later stage," said Khaled al-Dakhil, a political science professor at the King Saud University and one of the 123 signatories of the petition.
"We have high hopes that these reforms will be implemented," Dakhil was quoted as saying by AFP. "Now is the time."
The petition posted on the Internet calls for the election rather than appointment of a Shura consultative council, and the creation of a constitutional monarchy. It also calls for expanded participation of women in social and political life in the kingdom.