Saudi women to be given right to vote

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The Independent Online

Saudi King Abdullah has given the kingdom's women the right to vote for first time in nationwide local elections, due in 2015.

The king said in an annual speech today before his advisory assembly, or Shura Council, that Saudi women will be able to run and cast ballots in the 2015 municipal elections.

Abdullah says women will also be appointed to "join the all-male" Shura Council, which is selected by Abdullah.

Saudi Arabia held its first municipal elections in 2005.

The kingdom will hold its next municipal elections on Thursday, but women are not able to vote or run at this time.