no group domination Riyadh civic elections by arab news

Riyadh Mayor Prince Abdulaziz bin Mohammed bin Ayyaf Al-Muqrin also announced the names of the seven winners for the city’s municipal council with no single group sweeping the poll, be it moderate, religious or those with endorsements from celebrities or businessmen.
“The winning candidates of the remaining two municipal councils in the Riyadh region will be announced Monday,” said Al-Muqrin.
He said that Fuad Abdulrahman Al-Rashid topped the list of winners securing some 44 percent of votes, while Waleed Abdullateef Sweidan was next with 42.9 percent.
The other five winners were Abdul Razak A. Alonaizi, Abdulrahman A. Mohanna, Issa Suleiman Al-Issa, Othman Abdulaziz Al-Othman and Khalid Abdulrahman Al-Oraidi, who will serve for four years on a 14-member council.
The capital city and its suburbs have been divided into 15 municipal districts, managed by Riyadh Municipality that is headed by the mayor of Riyadh. The municipality is supervised by the Riyadh Development Authority, which is chaired by Riyadh Gov. Prince Salman.
The nationwide elections for the municipal councils were held last Thursday. Some 5,324 candidates competed for 1,056 seats in only the second elections in Saudi history to fill half the seats in the country’s 285 councils. The other half is appointed by the government.
The bulk of the results were announced on Friday and Saturday, while the names of the remaining winners will be announced in a staggered schedule this week. Referring to the composition of the council, Prince Abdulaziz said that there would be 14 members of the municipal council of Riyadh city including seven elected and seven nominated members. He said the election was a successful exercise, fair and transparent.
About 1.2 million male voters registered to take part in the poll, said the mayor, adding that this database will help to formulate future plans and policies. This year, according to Al Jazeerah TV in Riyadh, only about 300,000 registered, well down from the 700,000 to 800,000 who had enrolled for the 2005 elections.
Prince Abdulaziz noted that the municipal and rural system of governance in Saudi Arabia stipulates that half of the municipal council members shall be chosen by election, and the other half appointed by the minister of rural affairs on the basis of their eligibility and efficiency.
The rules further add that each municipal councilor shall choose the chairman and his deputy from among the council members by voting every two years. Although the municipal councils were established only in 2005, they have proved to be successful after holding more than 2,471 sessions during which they issued 492 decisions, 70 percent of which were implemented.
Additionally, the councils made field visits to their constituencies and held about 701 meetings with local citizens. He said “the success of the election serves as a gauge to measure the level of understanding and participation by the people.” Thus, any failure in any part of this process makes it inevitable for the officials and general public to review the concept and the measures as well, said the mayor.

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