Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 27 October 2020

Seven women win seats on Oman municipal councils

Two hundred and two seats were up for grabs in Sunday's election, with 23 women running out of a total of 731 candidates
An Omani woman casts her ballot in municipal elections on December 25, 2016 at a polling station in Al Suwayq, northeastern Oman. Mohammed Mahjoub/AFP
An Omani woman casts her ballot in municipal elections on December 25, 2016 at a polling station in Al Suwayq, northeastern Oman. Mohammed Mahjoub/AFP

MUSCAT // Seven women have been elected to municipal councils in Oman, according to vote results released on Monday by the interior ministry.

It came a day after the sultanate held its second ever local election.

Voters across the country went to the polls on Sunday to choose 202 councillors 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.

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READ MORE: One woman elected in Oman’s shura council elections

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In 1994, Oman became the first Gulf monarchy to give the vote to women and in 2011 Sultan Qaboos, who has ruled for more than 40 decades, decreed that elections should be held for municipal councils. Municipality chairmen and their deputies are still chosen by the authorities, however.

The interior ministry said 39.85 per cent of the country’s 623,224 registered voters had cast their ballots in Sunday’s election.

At the national level, Oman has a consultative council with limited powers, the 85-member Majlis Al Shura.

Sultan Qaboos slightly expanded the powers of the Majlis Al Shura in 2011 when the normally quiet nation became caught up in protests which swept across the Arab world.

* Agence France-Presse

Updated: December 26, 2016 04:00 AM