Saudi Women to Vote and Run in Municipal Council Elections

July 24, 2014

(Washington, DC) --  The Council of Ministers has approved legislation that will allow women to vote and run as candidates in municipal council elections. This announcement was made during this week’s Cabinet session in Jeddah, chaired by Crown Prince Salman bin Abdulaziz.

The law, which is in line with Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz’s announcement Sept. 25, 2011 in which he granted women the right to vote and run in future municipal elections, also allows councils to approve and implement municipal plans and programs approved in the budget. They also would oversee maintenance, operation, development and investment projects. Furthermore, the law grants independent, non-governmental and non-profit national institutions and associations the right to monitor election procedures to ensure transparency and fairness.

The introduction of municipal elections in 2005 was one of several political changes King Abdullah made to more effectively centralize powers and expand state control. The last municipal elections were held in 2011.