JEDDAH: The Municipal Elections Appeal Committee has rejected the appeal brought by Saudi woman Samar Badawi who had her legal claim to the right to vote dismissed by the Administrative Court in Jeddah.
Al-Watan Arabic daily reported that the claim was dismissed “finally and irrevocably” in a unanimous decision by the committee on Wednesday, ruling that Badawi had “failed to meet a fundamental condition for the acceptance of the appeal”.
That condition, the appeals committee reportedly said, states that the appeal must be made within three days of the request for Badawi’s name to be included on the electoral register being turned down.
“The polling station registering names informed that the claimant’s request for her name to be registered to vote was rejected approximately one month ago,” the committee said. “She therefore fails to meet one of the regulatory conditions.”
Badawi’s claim against the Ministry of Municipal and Rural Affairs had previously been rejected as “premature” by the Administrative Court – also known as the Board of Grievances – after which she appealed to the Municipal Elections Appeal Committee.
Badawi had maintained that “there is nothing in the law barring women from registering as voters or election candidates”, and asked that the Board of Grievances “immediately suspend all election procedures until the court has ruled on the complaint” and “annul the administrative decision to bar me (Badawi) from my right to vote for and stand for election to the municipal councils, which is in breach of the relevant regulations”.
The complaint further asked the court to “order the object of the complaint to permit me to take part in the elections as a voter or as a candidate”.
The municipal elections, set earlier for Sept. 22, will now be held on Sept. 29.
– Saudi Gazette