Ban on direct campaigning irks women candidates

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JEDDAH: Female candidates in the municipal elections and leaders in the women’s community described the Supreme Electoral Committee’s decision banning female candidates from addressing male voters directly and requiring them to appoint proxies or specialized companies to manage their advertising campaigns as clear and unacceptable discrimination.

They demanded reconsideration of the decision so as to ensure equality of opportunities in electoral competition, noting that the decision has resulted in great disappointment among female candidates who see the elections as a real opportunity to participate in decision making.

Candidate Nassema Al-Sada said the fine contradicts campaign regulations, which stipulates candidates have a right to meet with voters, and asks how there can be any justice in the elections if the female candidate, like the male candidate, cannot directly meet with voters to discuss her campaign platform.

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