Initial results show at least 19 Saudi women elected for first time

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A Saudi woman casts her vote for the municipal elections at a polling station on December 12, 2015 in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. (Photo by Jordan Pix/ Getty Images)

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia — At least 19 women have won seats on local municipal councils in Saudi Arabia after women voted and ran in elections for the first time in the country’s history. That’s according to initial results of yesterday’s voting released to The Associated Press.

The women who won hail from vastly different parts of the country, ranging from Saudi Arabia’s largest city to a small village near Islam’s holiest sites. The conservative capital of Riyadh (rih-YAHD’) saw the most women candidates win, with four elected.

Around 7,000 candidates, including 979 women, were competing for 2,100 seats.

Municipal councils are the only government body elected by Saudi citizens.