At least four women elected to municipal councils in Saudi Arabia’s first poll open to female voters and candidates.
Al Jazeera, December 13
At least four women have won seats in Saudi Arabia’s municipal polls, the country’s first-ever elections open to female voters and candidates, local reports said.
The female candidates were elected to three councils – two in Ihsaa governorate and one each in Tobouk and Mecca, as votes were still being counted on Sunday.
Salma bint Hizab al-Oteibi was elected to the council of Madrakah, a region in Mecca, the official SPA news agency reported, citing election commission president Osama al-Bar.
Saturday’s municipal poll, which was hailed by many as historic, saw a turnout of about 25 percent, Al Jazeera’s correspondent in Riyadh Saad al-Saadi reported.
The fact that this was only the third time that Saudi citizens voted in an election meant that there was still little experience with the electoral process, Saadi said. The first local election was in 2005, and the second in 2011. Women were excluded in both.