Kuwait municipal elections: 60 men, one woman

Manama: The final list of candidates vying for seats in elections for Kuwait’s municipal council on May 12 includes one woman and 60 men, election officials have said.

The final figure of was announced following the Friday deadline for candidates to withdraw their bids from the race.

Election Legal Affairs Assistant Director General Salah Al Shatti said seven candidates had pulled out of the race for various reasons.

Earlier, six candidates were barred from running after the election committee found on checking their applications that they did not fulfil the conditions required to be elected to the 10-member council.

Municipal elections are held in Kuwait every four years with the winners of the 10 districts forming the Municipal Council.

Six other members are appointed by the cabinet, bringing the total number of the council to 16.

However, municipal elections usually generate less excitement than parliamentary polls among voters.

Last month Shatti said the education ministry will allow 102 schools to be used as polling stations in the elections next Saturday.

This year, Fatima Al Rasheedi will be the only woman contesting, and although Kuwait typically has low female representation, this year marks a sharp decrease from the last election in 2013 when four women registered to run.

In June 2005, the cabinet appointed two women to the council for the first time in the country’s history.

The appointment was in the aftermath of Kuwait’s parliament voting in May 2005 to allow women to vote and run in parliamentary and municipal elections.

The council elects its own chairman and vice chairman.

In October last year, the cabinet dissolved the municipal council and an interim committee was tasked with carrying out its duties until the elections on May 12.

Only one woman was elected Member of Parliament in November last year.