Elections in Saudi Arabia

This section introduces the process of election in Saudi Arabia in which candidates are chosen for executive positions, allowing citizens to be part of the decision-making process and this is considered a significant milestone in the Kingdom’s journey towards progression. Here, you will gain information on the municipal council elections system, the types of municipal elections, conditions for candidacy for membership in the municipal councils, the stages of the electoral process, voting entitlement and technical support measures for the municipal elections in Saudi Arabia.

Election system

The election system in Saudi Arabia has been allocated to executive positions in Saudi Arabia, allowing citizens to participate in decision-making and management. The concept of elections is generally based on casting a group of citizens who meet the conditions necessary to exercise the right to vote for the candidates within an organized process according to the approved voting systems.

Types of elections in Saudi Arabia

1- Municipal council elections

Municipal council elections allow citizens to participate in decision-making by selecting qualified and experienced people to manage local affairs and municipal services. Municipal council members' elections derive their importance from citizens' participation in government agencies in managing municipal services, as this participation is a catalyst in supporting government decisions in citizens' interest.

2- Chamber of Commerce and Industry elections

The members' direct vote chooses the boards of directors of the Chambers of Commerce and Industry. This is to select distinguished people in business to represent a new impetus for the chambers' work.

3- University elections

Students elect presidents of student clubs, where they choose those who see in them the ability to represent them in demanding their rights and achieving their desires and goals

4- Bodies elections

  • Elections for the Saudi Council of Engineers
    Engineers elect their representatives to be in leadership positions on the board of directors of the Saudi Council of Engineers, which works to organize engineers' lives and manage their affairs.
  • Elections for the Saudi Journalists Association
    The Board of Directors of the Saudi Journalists Association is elected through an electoral process in which the committee members participate.

5- Cooperative Societies Elections

Members of the boards of directors of cooperative societies operating in Saudi Arabia, which number approximately 162 cooperative societies, are elected. These associations' purposes vary between multi-purpose cooperatives, agricultural communities, fishers, fourth marketing, consumer and professional communities, and housing cooperatives. The cooperative societies' board of directors consists of 17 members, the majority of the seats in these societies, while the government reserves six seats for representatives of five ministries and an agricultural financing institution.

6- Sports Club Elections

Members of the boards of directors of Saudi sports federations are chosen by election, and the elections include 15 federations: boxing and wrestling federations, gymnastics, karate, foot, volleyball, basketball, athletics, table tennis, tennis, swimming, weightlifting, bodybuilding, cycling, judo and taekwondo, Fencing. Members of the boards of directors of sports clubs in Saudi Arabia are also elected.

7- Labor Committee Elections

It is a worker's committee representing all workers in Saudi Arabia, and it was elected by the heads of the selected workers' committees and representatives of the workers of the private sector establishments in Saudi Arabia, and The minister approved the results of the election of its members of Labor and Social Development in January 2019

8- The Elections for Cultural Institutions

Saudi intellectuals choose their candidates to manage their cultural institutions (literary clubs, culture, and art associations) by forming general associations for them in their regions. Through these associations, intellectuals elect boards of directors of the clubs that represent them. They also have financial, cultural, and administrative control over these clubs, which positively impacts revitalizing the cultural movement.

Municipal council elections system

  • Definition of its words and phrases
  • The legal personality of the Municipal Council
  • The powers and authorities of the Municipal Council
  • The composition of the Municipal Council
  • Election of council members
  • Electoral appeals, provisions for membership in the Council
  • Council sessions and decisions
  • Council rights and obligations
  • Electoral offenses
  • Violations of Parliament members
  • Dissolution of the Municipal Council

Conditions for candidacy for membership in municipal councils

Every voter has the right to run in municipal elections if he fulfills the following conditions:

  • To be registered in the voters' registration lists in the electoral district for which he wishes to run.
  • His age should not be less than twenty-five Hijri years at the polling date.
  • His educational qualification should not be less than high school or its equivalent.
  • He should not be convicted of a legal limit or a conviction for a crime involving breach of honor or trust unless he has been rehabilitated.
  • He should not be dismissed from public service for disciplinary reasons unless three years have passed since this term.
  • He has not been convicted of fraudulent bankruptcy.
  • His membership in the Municipal Council should not be revoked during the previous term of the Council.

Stages of The Electoral Process

  • Voter registration: Those who meet the eligibility requirements are listed and recorded in specialized registers known as voter registration tables.
  • Candidate registration: The nomination application must be registered in the voters' registration lists. The nomination shall occur within aspecified period according to specific procedures issued and published in the electoral districts.
  • Candidates 'election campaigns: Advertising campaigns begin after publishing the final lists of candidates' names, and the accepted candidates are allowed to start their election campaigns and inform voters about them, their electoral programs, their ideas, and their plans.
  • Voting: The most crucial stage in the electoral process, where voters cast their votes on polling day and select their candidates according to approved procedures, and at the polling stations, they are registered.
  • The screening process: it is an organized process through which seat winners are known, as the election and winning committees work on counting and counting the votes.
  • Announcement of results: The list of winners for municipal council membership is announced with the number of votes obtained by each of them, and at this stage, the electoral process ends.
  • Appeals and grievances: It is an entirely independent committee, in which every voter or candidate has the right to grievance before it against the decisions of the Electoral Commission against him, or against the refusal of the committees to make a decision in his favor, or to challenge the inclusion of any of the names mentioned in the lists of voters or candidates registration according to specific times and dates in the regulations And the instructions.

Who is Entitled to Vote?

Voting is a right for every Saudi citizen, male or female. However, some conditions must be met:

  • He is eighteen Hijri years old at polling date
  • To be fully qualified
  • He should not be a military man
  • To be a resident of the electoral district, choose one electoral district in his place of residence.

Technical Support for the Municipal Elections in Saudi Arabia

The Technical Support Project was established to provide technical and advisory support to the Saudi government to conduct its municipal elections and support the post-election phase.

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