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Zero-paper Municipal Council elections drew appreciation from voters, electoral officers and other stakeholders.

Addressing a press conference, Khalid bin Hilal al Busaidy, Under-Secretary, Ministry of Interior and Chairman of the Main Committee of the Municipal Council election, said the electoral process was at par with the technological advancement that helped automation and integration of data and other operations.

Apps were deployed in line with the government's digital transformation programme under Oman Vision 2040, which promises upgraded information and communication technology in the country.

The whole process, starting from registration in the electoral register, candidacy, voting and results followed a zero-paper policy.

Mohammed bin Said al Balushi, Under-Secretary of the Ministry of Information for Radio and Television and Chairman of the Media Committee, said, "The pioneering experience in the municipal council elections for the third term through smartphone voting contributed to the speed of voting, community interaction, and quick announcement of results."

Intakhib and Intekhab apps were designed by an Omani team from the Ministry of Interior. This proved the technical prowess of Omanis in keeping pace with the digital transformation that the Sultanate of Oman is witnessing.

Dr Ali bin Amer al Shaithani, Under-Secretary of the Ministry of Transport, Communications and Information Technology for Communications and Information Technology and Chairman of the Technical Committee, stated that no technical challenges were detected during voting via smartphones.

The Ministry of Interior is working on evaluating and reviewing the polling percentage which stood at 39.42 per cent

No objections were raised regarding the election results.

Dr Al Shaithani said: "The use of smartphone voting contributed to reducing the financial cost of the electoral process.

The call centre received nearly 3,000 calls and they were resolved. Nearly thousand inquiries were received in Intikhab.

Even though women candidates were small in number, the victory of Faiza al Shamsiyah proved the competence of Omani women in polls and their ability to win.

Al Shamsiyah said: "I was a member of the municipal affairs committees, and I also took part in other initiatives, so I wanted to be in the municipal council this time. Every person aspires to serve their country, which I am proud of, and will be up to the responsibility."

The elderly people also found it easy to vote through smartphones.

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Autor(en)/Author(s): Afrah Al Balushi

Quelle/Source: Oman Daily Observer, 26.12.2022

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