Poll preparations complete

Updated 27 July 2015
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Poll preparations complete

RIYADH: The Ministry of Municipal and Rural Affairs has banned the display of photos of candidates during campaigning for the upcoming municipal elections.

The ministry said it would not allow any display of photo to canvass votes, an online publication said.
The ban was announced as the general committee for municipal elections said preparations for the first phase of the poll on Aug. 22 were complete.
The municipal elections’ executive committee will implement various plans on final preparations for the launch of the electoral process during the next phase.
In a meeting chaired by Agdia Qahtani, the executive committee discussed several reports from local committees. Particularly discussed was the completion of the formation of election commissions in electoral centers, provision of cadres and processing centers, furniture and office supplies in preparation for the reception of voters and candidates.
The executive committee also discussed the implementation of the different team plans in accordance with timetables.
The executive committee will receive reports periodically on the preparations from electoral commissions and centers.
Its membership includes the heads of media and organizational teams who will meet weekly to study reports from local committees on various aspects of the electoral process and report to the General Election Commission.
Media group president Hamad Al-Omar will continue the media awareness campaign during the next phase which precedes the launch of the electoral process.
He said the campaign would resume during the next few days after a pause for Eid.
Referring to the information awareness campaign during the next phase, he said this would mobilize citizens who are encouraged to register so they can participate in the electoral process and be active in municipal decision-making by choosing their representatives.
Nasser bin Abdullah Al-Fehaid, head of the technical team, said he had finished most of the work needed in preparation for the third session.
The number of women intending to nominate themselves for the elections has increased to 70. They include businesswomen and others involved in social and community services in Makkah, Madinah, Jeddah and Tabuk, in addition to more than 80 who registered themselves as campaign managers.
According to Naila Attar, an activist and coordinator of the Baladi Initiative in Jeddah, the initiative will hold awareness seminars and workshops for female voters this month.
“The seminars will focus on urging all Saudi women to participate and exercise their right as citizens and voters in the election.”
Attar said the awareness program initiatives will include a training course to boost the capabilities of candidates and train them about selecting the electoral message, and convincing the public about the electoral platform of the candidates, the role expected from them as members of the municipal council and how to grab the largest proportion of votes.


Saudi Arabia to send Syrians an additional $100 million of humanitarian aid

Updated 26 April 2018
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Saudi Arabia to send Syrians an additional $100 million of humanitarian aid

  • Total relief provided by the Kingdom since the war began now stands at about $1billion
  • Latest package announced by Foreign Minister Adel bin Ahmed Al-Jubeir at conference in Brussels

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia will provide an additional $100 million of humanitarian aid to alleviate the suffering of the people of Syria, through the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center.

The announcement of the latest aid package was made by Minister of Foreign Affairs Adel bin Ahmed Al-Jubeir on April 25 at an international conference on the future of Syria and the region, held in the Belgian capital Brussels. He pointed out that the meeting comes after the suspected chemical attack in the city of Douma, in eastern Ghouta, which killed dozens of civilians, including women and children.

“The world is facing a regime allied with terrorist militias who believe that spreading atrocities and committing crimes will bring victory to it, and that war crimes are bearing fruit,” said Al-Jubeir. “In addition to bombing civilians with explosive barrels, the policies of starvation and siege, ethnic and sectarian cleansing, and the demographic change of Syrian cities and towns, its use of chemical weapons have shocked the entire world.”

He said that the only acceptable solution to the Syrian crisis is a peaceful political resolution, and that Saudi Arabia has been working to achieve this since the crisis began, while also working with others to end the continuing human tragedy in the war-torn country.

The Kingdom has played a role in unifying the ranks of the Syrian opposition and encouraging them to speak with one voice, he added. After the Riyadh 1 Conference in 2015, Saudi Arabia hosted the Riyadh 2 conference for the Syrian opposition in November 2017, which succeeded in unifying the factions and establishing a negotiating body to take part in the rounds of talks held since then, earning praise from the United Nations.

The foreign minister also reiterated his country’s support for the efforts of the UN secretary-general’s envoy, Stephan de Mistura, to resume negotiations between all sides of the conflict.

“The Kingdom hopes that the agreements endorsed by the international resolutions on the ceasefire and the delivery of humanitarian aid to its beneficiaries will be implemented throughout Syria, regardless of their ethnic, religious, sectarian or political affiliations, and calls for the speedy release of detainees and abductees and clarifying the situation of those absent,” said Al-Jubeir. “It also renews its demand to punish individuals and institutions for war crimes and to prevent their impunity.”

He added that the worsening humanitarian crisis affecting refugees inside and outside of Syria should add to the urgency of finding a political solution and resuming the negotiating process as soon as possible.

Since the war began, the Kingdom has taken in about two and a half million Syrians and treats them like its own citizens, Al-Jubeir said, providing them with free health care, work and education. Saudi universities and schools have more than 140,000 Syrian students. He added that Saudi Arabia is also supporting and helping to care for of millions of Syrian refugees in Turkey, Jordan and Lebanon, in coordination with the governments of those countries. The humanitarian assistance provided so far totals about $1 billion.