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Saudi Arabia Holds First-Ever Election

Voting is underway for Saudi men only in the first phase of the country's first-ever municipal election.

The voting Thursday is taking place in and around the capital, Riyadh.

The nationwide election is being held in three stages, with other parts of the country set to vote in March and April.

More than 1,800 candidates are contesting for 592 seats, or half the seats in the kingdom's 38 municipal councils. The remaining half will be appointed.

It is the first time Saudis will have a voice in their government - even though women, who represent half of the country's population, are not eligible to vote.

However, voter interest has been low, with less than a quarter of eligible voters registering in the Riyadh region.

Some information for this report provided by AP and AFP.