Kuwait’s newly-elected Municipal Council will elect its president and its vice-president on Thursday as its 16 members convene for the first time.
Ten members were elected in direct voting by the people on May 12 in elections in which 63 candidates, including one woman, Fatima Al Rasheedi, ran across the 10 electoral constituencies.
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The other six members were appointed by the cabinet one day later even though it had two weeks to name its candidates. They included Maha Al Baghli, the only woman who will be a member of the council during its four-year term.
Kuwait has had a low female representation in both parliament and Municipal Council even though the number of women registered to vote is higher than that of men.
This time, the country has only one woman lawmaker and one woman municipal councilor.
Tasks assigned to the Municipal Council include drawing up policies and plans and assessing projects related to the municipality’s urban, environmental and health aspects.
It also decides the construction of cities, roads, streets and squares as well as markets, slaughter houses and burial grounds. Other tasks include looking after sanitation systems, gardens and landscaping.
Under the bylaws, the council convenes at least twice a month to discuss matters related to municipal policies and projects.
Established in 1930, the council was considered the first opportunity for Kuwaitis in their history to cast ballots and elect candidates in an election.
Since Kuwait’s independence in 1961, voters have elected 11 municipal councils.
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