"The turnout was 82% in all the Riyadh region excluding Riyadh city. Some towns and villages exceeded 92%," said Sultan al-Bazai, a member of the General Commission of Municipal Elections, on Friday.

  

He did not say why figures for the capital were not published.

  

Concerning the capital, Al-Iqtissadiyah newspaper on Friday quoted the mayor, Prince Abd al-Aziz bin Ayyaf al-Muqrin, as saying turnout was strongest in the second district of al-Nassim, reaching 76%.

  

Lowest

  

Turnout in the first round of elections on Thursday was lowest in the fourth (Olaya-Sulaimaniyah) of seven districts that comprise the capital, at only 58%, the mayor said.

  

"Some towns and villages exceeded 92%"

Sultan al-Bazai,
member, General Commission of Municipal Elections

Just over 140,000 men out of 470,000 eligible voters registered to cast their ballots in the first of three-phase polls, in which half the members of 178 municipal councils will be elected across the ultra-conservative kingdom.

  

Women are barred from taking part in the elections, which will take place on 3 March in the Eastern Province and the southwest, and on 21 April in the western regions of Makka and Madina, as well as the northern regions.