2004 News Story

Kingdom involves UN team in preparations for municipal elections

Saudi Arabia has briefed a team of visiting United Nations experts on the measures completed by the Ministry of Municipal and Rural Affairs relating to the election of municipal councils. The United Nations team held meetings with members of committees supervising the election and with international experts contracted by the Ministry to discuss details including the timetable, which had been divided into three phases: the first covering Riyadh Province; the second the provinces of Makkah, Madinah, Qassim, Jouf, Tabuk, Hail, and the Northern Borders; and the third the Eastern Province and the provinces of Asir, Baha, Jizan and Najran. Some amendments in the schedule have been made, however, and elections in Riyadh Province will start in the month of Shawwal [November 2004] instead of Sha’ban or Ramadan [September-October 2004] as previously scheduled, to avoid coinciding with the Holy Month. For the second group, elections will be held after the Hajj 1425 season [which is in January 2005], because of the heavy involvement of Makkah, Madinah and Jeddah in the annual pilgrimage. The third, therefore, will hold elections before the second, prior to the Hajj season [i.e. in December 2004].