Oman polls 3
An Omani man casts his ballot. Image Credit: ONA

Muscat: Omanis are voting Sunday to elect a new Shura Council, the Sultanate’s legislature, in polls contested by 637 contenders, including 40 women.

Some 713,335 Omanis are registered voters, up 20 per cent compared to the Shura’s 2015 polls, according to the Interior Ministry.

The voters are using an electronic balloting system at 110 polling stations spread across the country’s 61 provinces.

Omani media said the electorate have turned out at the polls since they opened at 7 in the morning (0300 GMT). The 12-hour balloting is running smoothly, according to media reports.

Omanis gather to vote for new Shura Council. Image Credit: ONA

The 86-member Shura Council is elected for a four-year mandate.

The assembly’s number of the members representing each province depends on its population density.

A province whose population is lower than 30,000 is represented by one member, while a province populated by more than 30,000 is represented by two.

Created in 1991, the Shura Council has the powers to revise the government’s draft bills before they are issued. The council also takes part in drafting the country’s development plans.