RIYADH — Saudi men were voting in municipal elections yesterday. Some 5,324 candidates are competing for 1,056 seats to fill half the seats in the country’s 285 councils. The other half are appointed by the government.
The first elections in the kingdom, which has a population of around 27.5 million, including around 19 million Saudis, were held in 2005, but the government extended the existing council’s term for two years.
Around 1.2 million male voters have registered to take part. The results of the vote are expected on Sunday.
Yesterday’s polling comes just four days after King Abdullah granted women the right to vote and run in the next municipal elections in four years, a historic first for the country.
In addition to women participating in the only public polls in the country, King Abdullah also announced he had decided to admit women to the Shura Council, an all-appointed consultative body. — AFP