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Woman Wins Seat in Saudi Election

A Saudi woman has won a seat on Mecca’s municipal council in Saudi Arabia’s first ever elections open to female voters and candidates, the country’s election commission has announced. Officials say
Salma bint Hizab al-Oteibi has been elected to Mecca council, with votes still being counted in first ever poll open to female voters and candidate

She was running against seven men and two women, he said.
Saudi Arabia is an absolute monarchy with some of the world’s tightest restrictions on women, including a ban on driving.
It was the last country to allow only men to vote, and polling stations were segregated for Saturday’s election.
Among the 6,440 candidates were more than 900 women, who overcame a number of obstacles to participate in the landmark poll.
Female candidates could not directly meet any male voters during their campaigns.
Female voters said registration was hindered by factors including bureaucratic obstacles and a lack of transport.
As a result women accounted for fewer than 10% of registered voters. Few female candidates were expected to be elected.


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