First Saudi woman grabs Makkah Muncipal Council Seat in Local Bodies election

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RIYADH: A Saudi woman won a municipal council seat in the country’s first ever election open to female voters and candidates, an official said Sunday, in a milestone result for the ultra-conservative kingdom. At least 18 women have won seats in Saudi Arabia's municipal polls, the country's first-ever elections open to female voters and candidates, local reports said. The women who won hail from vastly different parts of the country, ranging from Saudi Arabia's largest city to a small village near Islam's holiest site. Salma bint Hizab al-Oteibi was elected to the council of Madrakah, a region in Mecca, the official SPA news agency reported, citing election commission president Osama al-Bar. More than 900 women ran for seats. They were up against nearly 6,000 men competing for places on 284 councils whose powers are restricted to local affairs including responsibility for streets, public gardens and rubbish collection.