Saudi Arabian municipal elections, 2005

Saudi Arabian municipal elections, 2005

The Saudi Arabian municipal elections in 2005 involved 178 municipalities in Saudi Arabia and were held from 10 February to 21 April, 2005.

The first elections to be held in Saudi Arabia since the 1960s, the 2005 elections were held in three stages: the first on 10 February around the capital city of Riyadh, the second in the east and southwest on 3 March, and the third, in the north, on 21 April.

The elections were part of the Saudi government's response to progressive movements calling for political reform. []

Male citizens over the age of 21 voted for half of the members of their municipal councils. On 11 October 2004, Prince Naif bin Abd al-Aziz, the Saudi Interior Minister, announced to a Kuwaiti newspaper that women would not be able to run as candidates or vote in the elections: "I do not think that women's participation is possible." Elections officials noted logistical concerns, such as the lack of separate women's voting booths and the fact that many women do not have identification cards, as well as opposition from conservative religious traditionalists. However, the government has promised that women will be voting in the elections of 2009.

Saudi Arabia is having the first real democracy.

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