731 candidates to compete for 202 seats in Municipal Council polls

By Khalid al Adawi — MUSCAT: Dec. 13: The total number of eligible voters for municipal council elections stands at 623,224, including 333,733 males and 289,491 females. This was revealed by the Ministry of Interior on Tuesday as it announced its readiness for holding the second term of municipal council elections on December 25. Omanis living abroad and the members of election and counting committees will cast their votes on December 18. The details of the elections were revealed at a press conference attended by Khalid bin Hilal al Busaidy, Under-Secretary of the Interior Ministry and Chairman of the Main Election Committee.

010101-01Salim bin Hameed al Hajri, head of the municipal council’s preparation committee, said that the ballot boxes are designed to be used for both voting and counting. The ballot boxes also provide direct reading of each candidate’s indicators. Additionally, smart phone applications allow first-hand view of the results as well as electoral processes. Dr Hilal bin Saud al Hatmi, Acting Chief of Electoral Register, said that as many as 731 candidates (708 male and 23 female) will be competing for 202 seats in the municipal councils. “The elections will be held in 107 polling stations, 18 for male voters and 18 for women, and 71 polling stations for both male and female voters,” Al Hatmi said.
A mobile App has been launched that will help people to follow-up results of the elections.
Dr Al Hatmi made a presentation on the introduction of modern technologies in the field of organisation of the electoral process, ease of voting, sorting and counting of votes till the announcement of results to ensure accuracy and transparency, where e-voting will be used.
As per the officials, a new machine will be used to count votes which will help announce the results at the earliest, and save at least three to four hours. The machine will be placed at all locations.
A certificate will be issued to ensure that voters have cast their ballot and it has to be taken note that their ID is not expired. These details were revealed at an orientation meeting at the Ministry of Interior to update media professionals on the latest developments of the elections. Khalid bin Hilal al Busaidy, Nasser bin Sulaiman al Sibani, Deputy Chairman of the Public Authority for Radio and Television (PART) and head of the municipal councils election media committee for the second term, and a number of officials from the ministry attended the meeting.