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Religious-Backed Conservatives Win Saudi Election


Conservative Muslim candidates have swept elections in Saudi Arabia's first nationwide municipal vote, giving rise to complaints that they had an unfair advantage because of religious endorsements.

Thursday's voting in the western part of the kingdom completed the three-phase vote, which began in February.

Western region winners were announced Saturday. In the holy city of Medina, as well as in the ultra-conservative town of Buraydah, cleric-supported candidates swept the vote. In Jeddah, long considered one of the country's most liberal cities, voters also chose conservatives.

Saudi men over age 21 voted for half the members of the kingdom's municipal councils. The government will appoint the remaining half.

Some information for this report provided by AP and Reuters.

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