Ban welcomes Saudi move giving women right to vote in municipal elections

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (left), on a June 2008 visit to Saudi Arabia, is greeted by King Abdullah in Jeddah. UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe

29 September 2011 – Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today welcomed the recently announced measures by Saudi Arabian King Abdullah granting women the right to vote and stand in municipal elections as well as to become members of the Shura Council.

“The Secretary-General believes that these represent an important step in the realization by women in Saudi Arabia of their fundamental civil and political rights,” a statement issued by his spokesperson said.

According to the Saudi Government website, the Shura (consultative) Council, made up of 60 members appointed by the country’s king, enjoys the same powers as Western parliaments – it is entitled to enact laws, oversee the functions of government agencies and investigate public cases.

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