Jeddah, Asharq Al-Awsat – It was announced yesterday in Jeddah that 1,700 Saudi lawyers, registered with the Ministry of Justice, will be taking part in monitoring the municipal elections due to be held in Saudi Arabia at the end of September. The legal monitors will be coordinating with all concerned government parties and bodies to ensure the success of the municipal elections.
Dr. Majed Garoub, the head of the National Committee of Lawyers in Saudi Arabia, revealed that Saudi Minister of Rural and Municipal Affairs Prince Mansour Bin Miteb had granted the request made by the Committee for election monitoring.
In a press conference held at the headquarters of the Jeddah Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Dr. Garoub stated that the National Committee of Lawyers will be carrying out its national duty by dispatching 1,700 lawyers registered with the Ministry of Justice to monitor and observe the municipal elections scheduled for 29 September 2011. He added that “the committee will monitor the elections and submit a detailed report to the concerned authorities about the polls”, stressing that this was in order to ensure “the application of the highest electoral standards, guaranteeing transparency and fairness.”
Responding to a question posed by Asharq al-Awsat, Dr. Garoub clarified that there were no conditions or restrictions being applied to the lawyers who would be monitoring the elections, before adding that the legal election monitors would, of course, not include lawyers standing for election. Dr. Garoub also pointed out that the general election committee would provide all the required facilities to enable the lawyers to perform their role as election observers. Dr. Garoub stressed that the lawyers’ role would be purely observational, and that they would be present at ballot stations to make sure that the election process runs smoothly and according to the required standards of fairness and transparency.
He added that “this initiative is an expression of appreciation and gratitude to Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz, for his ambitious project to develop the judicial system and for his efforts to future develop the country.”
Dr. Garoub also revealed that the general election committee would issue a detailed report on the state of elections and submit it to the concerned parties. He also hailed the efforts of the Ministry of Rural and Municipal Affairs in regulating the municipal election process, praising the work of Minister of Rural and Municipal Affairs Prince Mansour Bin Miteb.
The Head of the Saudi National Committee of Lawyers also stated that the committee would welcome the help and support of any and all Saudi civil society organizations, such as the Saudi Journalists Authority, the National Society for Human Rights, the Saudi Geographical Commission, the Saudi Society for Public Relations and Advertisement, the Saudi Authority of Engineers, the Saudi Economic Society, the Saudi Accounting Association, the Saudi Management Association, the Saudi Producers and Distributors Association and the Consumer Protection Society, amongst others.
Dr. Garoub stressed that “The decrees of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques confirms and consolidates his vision of Saudi civil society organizations, and their role in developing the nation. After returning safely to the homeland, His Majesty issued a number of noble decrees that included offering financial and moral support to civil society organizations, in an effort to support them and allow them to achieve their goals.”