A roadblock to women’s vote and election modernization in Saudi Arabia?
Though only a municipal election, the upcoming elections in Saudi Arabia have been on keen interest in different communities across the world. After initial media noise in 2011 around women´s eligibility to vote and then announcements on the modernizing of the electoral process and it´s transparency backed by technology in the first quarter of 2015 things have gone quiet.
Will women be allowed to vote? Back in 2011, King Abdullah made the public and historic announcement that women would finally be permitted not only to cast their vote but be permitted to stand as candidates. A historic advance in Saudi Arabia which ranked 130 out of 142 in the World Economic Forum 2014 Global Gender Gap Report.
Election modernization technology, will things remain as they were with no improvements to the process? Since the first election held in Saudi Arabia, technology has never played a significant role in the processes themselves in the country. Given municipal elections are the only elections the country holds, the announcements in early 2015 brought optimism to citizens, optimism that was reflected in the positive media coverage. But since all has gone quiet. Is there a roadblock to election modernization in the Ministry of Municipal and Rural Affairs?