Seven women elected to Oman municipal councils

An Omani woman casts her ballot for the municipal elections, at a polling station in al-Suwayq, in northeastern Oman on December 25, 2016. (AFP)

Seven women were elected to Oman municipal councils, according to vote results released Monday by the interior ministry, a day after the Gulf sultanate held its second ever local election. Voters across the country went to the polls on Sunday to choose 202 councilors from among 731 candidates for 11 municipalities, including the capital Muscat.

There were 23 women candidates, and seven won seats on local councils -- three more than in the previous election. Councilors, who serve for four years, have limited powers as authorities designate the chairmen and deputy chairmen for the municipalities, and not from those elected.

The interior ministry said that 39.85 percent of the 623,224 registered voters cast their ballots in the election. Oman has a population of 4.5 million, 46 percent of whom are foreigners. At the national level, Oman has a consultative council with limited powers, the 85-member Majlis al-Shura.

Also read: Oman plans spending cuts, tax rises, petroleum price changes

It was earlier reported on Sunday that voters in Oman headed to the polls to choose municipal councilors in only the second local election held in the Gulf sultanate.

In 1994 it became the first Gulf monarchy to give the vote to women and in 2011 Qaboos decreed that elections be held for municipal councils. More than 620,000 voters were registered to take part in Sunday’s polls, which will choose councilors for 11 municipalities including the capital Muscat.

“I voted for the person who will best represent me,” Jawhara al-Zadjali said as she left a polling station in Muscat. Voters across the country are choosing 202 councilors from among 731 candidates, including 23 women, for the four-year posts. At the national level, Oman has a consultative council with limited powers, the 85-member Majlis al-Shura.
 

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Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:49 - GMT 06:49
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