What countries still have absolute monarchies?
Countries and their current absolute monarchs: Monaco (the only European country ruled by an absolute monarch) – HSH Prince Albert Saudi Arabia – King Abdullah Brunei – Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah Oman – Qaboos bin Said Al Said Vatican City – Pope Benedict XVI For clarification purposes: a lot of respondents have answered that Japan is a country that has absolute monarchy but it is a constitutional one. Its head of state is Emperor Akihito but its head of government is the prime minister.
Absolute monarchy is a monarchical form of government where the monarch has the power to rule his or her land or state and its citizens freely. In theory, an absolute monarch has total power over his or her people and land, including the aristocracy and sometimes the clergy. However, in practice, absolute monarchs have often found their power limited—generally by one or other of those two groups. Only a few states retain an absolute monarchy – such as Brunei, Oman, and Saudi Arabia. I’m not sure about Nepal as I heard that their current King Gyanendra will be the last king of Nepal if the present ruling parties win the scheduled April 2008 elections.
Among the few states that retain a rather absolute monarchy are Brunei, Oman, Saudi Arabia and Vatican City. Many nations formerly with absolute monarchies, such as Morocco, have moved towards constitutional monarchies, although the monarch retains tremendous power. In Bhutan, the government moved from absolute monarchy to constitutional monarchy following planned parliamentary elections to the Tshogdu in 2003, and the election of a National Assembly in 2008. Nepal had several swings between constitutional rule and direct rule related to the Nepalese Civil War, the Maoist insurgency, and the 2001 Nepalese royal massacre. It is worth noting that the Nepalese Monarchy will be abolished in 2008. Unusually in a time when many nations are moving towards decreased monarchical power, Liechtenstein has moved towards expanding the power of the monarch; the Prince of Liechtenstein was given expanded powers after a referendum amending the Constitution of Liechtenstein in 2004. Also in 2004, peopl