Saudi advisory council supports women voting in upcoming elections
Saudi Arabia's Shura Council said that women should be allowed to vote in local municipal elections, 18 days after voting registration closed for the September elections, a regional daily reported Tuesday.
The advisory council said that "the necessary measures to include female voters in municipal elections should be taken, in accordance with Islamic sharia law," the Saudi-owned Asharq al-Awsat reported.
An exception could be made by opening registration again for women in the monarchy, the newspaper added, but only if the cabinet approved it, DPA reported.
In the upcoming municipal elections in the oil-rich kingdom, women are not allowed either to vote or to run as candidates.
Women were banned from voting in the upcoming elections, despite fierce campaigns by female activists demanding the right to participate as both voters and candidates, amid arguments over the conflict between law and tradition.
In April, many women showed up at voting registration centres in several cities to demand their right to vote, but were turned down by officials.
In the region's most conservative country, women are not allowed to drive. They also cannot travel without a male guardian, unless they are 45 or older.