Muscat: Preparations are complete in the various governorates of the Sultanate for the holding of Municipal Council elections today.
Over 546,000 voters will cast their votes for the election of 192 members in which 1,475 candidates, including 46 women, are in the fray.
The Ministry of Interior, the government body organising the elections, has made an elaborate arrangements for the conduct of polls in the various wilayats of the Sultanate.
It has also declared the names of 104 elections centres where voters will cast their votes.
The polling centres have been created by taking into consideration the density of population in each wilayat and other factors, including accessibility of the centres in the cities and remote areas and villages.
Muscat wilayat has 12 centres, Dhofar 13 centres, Musandam seven centres (four in Khasab and one each in Dibba, Baha and Madha), Buraimi governorate four centres (two in Buraimi and one each in Mahda and Al Sinainah), Dakhiliyah governorate 11 centres, North Al Batinah 16 centres, South Al Batinah 13 centres, South Al Sharqiyah 10 centres, North Al Sharqiyah eight centres, Al Dhahirah six centres and Al Wusta four centres.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Interior has introduced an electronic programme for the automated sorting of results on the Internet.
First of its kind
This system is being used for the first time in the municipal elections and it is also the first of its kind in the Middle East, an official from the Ministry of Interior told Times of Oman
The official added that this system works on the principle of an electronic link between the main committee for municipal elections at the Ministry of Interior and the sub-headquarters in various regions of the Sultanate.
This process will enable citizens to access results through website and follow them up till the end. While making arrangements for the electoral process, the Ministry of Interior has spared no effort in keeping abreast with the latest technological advances, said the official.
Observers feel this poll marks the Sultanate's entry into a bigger global platform and an enhanced development process.