From the Star:
Saudi Arabia is considering allowing women to vote in municipal elections this year but they would still be barred from running for office, a senior government official was quoted as saying on Sunday.
Saudi Arabia is the world's biggest oil exporter and a key ally of the United States. The absolute monarchy applies an austere form of Sunni Islam which bans unrelated men and women from mixing.
The meeting in the Eastern Province, the first indication that the municipal vote will take place this year, recommended that the government continues to name half the members of the council, al-Watan said.