Saudi women can’t use photos in election: scholar

Saudi women benefiting from a royal decision to vote and stand in municipal elections in 2015 will not be allowed to use their pictures in their campaigns, a senior Saudi Islamic scholar was reported on Tuesday as saying.

Sheikh Abdullah Al Manei, one of the seven members making up the Gulf Kingdom’s supreme scholars council, said women can use their names and personal information in election campaigns.

“Women will not be allowed to publish their pictures in streets, trade centres and other public places in their campaigns for the next round of municipal elections,” he told the London-based Saudi Arabic language daily Al-Hayat.

“In line with the decision by the Monarch to allow them to vote and run in election, they will be able to use their names and any personal information in any place…they can use their pictures only inside closed women’s halls.”

Al Manei said the decision by King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia to allow women to vote and stand in election took into account “all legal conditions.”

“Voters, whether they are men or women, need not see the face of the candidate when they vote because they will vote for the person for his or her views and experience to serve the public interest.”

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