A total of 585 Omanis, including 16 women, have registered to run in October 2 elections to the Gulf sultanate's advisory council, a top interior ministry official said Wednesday.
"This record number of candidates bodes well for the future of democracy in the sultanate as it moves step by step toward political liberalization. We also expect a record voter turnout," said Khaled bin Hilal al-Maamari, director of the ministry's Elections Department.
For the first time, all men and women over the age of 21 - 820,000 people out of a population of 1.96 million - will be eligible to vote in the October 2 poll to the 83-member advisory council, AFP said.
The council, founded in 1991, has no say on defense, internal security or foreign policy nor the power to block proposed legislation. However, it can advise, mainly on the economy, and question ministers. (Albawaba.com)
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