Omanis elect municipal councils

879957By Samuel Kutty — MUSCAT: Dec. 25: The Main Committee for the Municipal Councils’ Second Term Elections announced results of the elections, which took place in all wilayats of the Sultanate on Sunday. Voting, which began on a fervent note in the morning, witnessed a large voter turnout.
“The election process went on smoothly without any obstacles,” said Sayyid Hamoud bin Faisal al Busaidy, Minister of Interior.
Voting ended at the scheduled time of 7 pm at all election centres in different wilayats of the Sultanate.
The Minister, also the Head of the Main Committee for the Municipal Councils’ 2nd Term Elections, said earlier that the ballot boxes were transported to sorting centres at the walis’ offices.
879955Citizens flocked to different polling stations in large numbers right from 7.30 am, with the turnout slowly ballooning towards the closure of the voting time.
At an election booth at Al Wattayah Girls School, dedicated only to females, enthusiastic voters reached in large numbers to exercise their franchise.
“We are happy that a large number of people came out to exercise their franchise,” said Sayyid Saud bin Hilal al Busaidy, Minister of State and Governor of Muscat, at another voting centre in Wattayah.
A total of 731 candidates were in fray for 202 seats, of whom 23 are women.
According to the Ministry of Interior, the number of voters stood at 623,224, including 333,733 men and 28,491 women – an increase of 100,000 from the last election.
879953The ministry had set up 107 election centres across the country, including 18 each for men and women, and 71 for both men and women.
The voting process was found easy by most voters, thanks to the new machines introduced this year.
“The voting exercise was very smooth this time, thanks to the new technology,” said Zubaida Dadallah al Zadjali, an officer at the female voting centre in Al Wattayah.
Safiya al Balushi from Musanna, who visited the Al Tufail Bin Amro School early in the morning, found it easy to vote. “Everything was well-organised. I had no difficulty in getting my identity card activated. I was glad to see members of the voting committee helping the aged people.”