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Saudi Arabia women to vote for first time

Women have complained of difficulties proving identity and residency and a limited number of registration centers

Baku. 12 December. REPORT.AZ/ Saudi Arabian women will mark an important milestone Saturday, participating for the first time in the conservative nation's municipal elections.

Report informs referring to the foreign media, women in the conservative religious kingdom are being allowed both to run for office and to vote, although critics have said restrictions on both activities have made it hard on would-be women candidates and voters.

Among other things, women have complained of difficulties proving identity and residency and a limited number of registration centers, according to Human Rights Watch.

Female candidates also were barred from speaking to male voters and required to segregate campaign offices, the organization said.

In the end, 979 women candidates and 130,637 women voters registered to participate in the election, according to Saudi election officials. A total of 5,938 men are running for the local offices, which mostly oversee planning and development issues.

Voters will fill half of the seats. The King selects the other half, according to the U.S. State Department.

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