The Shoura Council approved a rule stipulating there should be a minimum of 30 members in a municipal council when it sanctioned draft laws for municipal councils yesterday.
Three quarters of council members should be elected and the rest nominated by the minister of municipal and rural affairs.
There are 1,056 seats in the Kingdom's 285 municipal councils.
The decision was taken by the Shoura Council when it approved the draft scheme for the composition of municipal councils that function under the aegis of the Ministry of Municipal and Rural Affairs.
The council also discussed yesterday draft regulations for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the Kingdom. Shoura Council Chairman Abdullah Al-Asheikh chaired the 22nd regular session of the council.
In a statement, Shoura Council Secretary General Muhammed Al-Ghamdi said the draft regulations for municipal councils, which consist of 69 articles divided into 12 chapters, is designed to accelerate the functions of municipal councils and link them electronically with the Ministry of Municipal and Rural Affairs in Riyadh.
Al-Ghamdi said these developments and changes to the structure of municipal council are being introduced under the leadership of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah, who is keen on involving the citizens in the management of municipal councils through elections.
In an earlier announcement, King Abdullah allowed Saudi women to stand and vote in municipal elections and also become members of the Shoura Council.
The new enacted regulations stipulate members should work for the welfare of the people within their respective municipal limits and understand the needs of the citizens and offer them the required services through their respective council. The construction projects within the municipal area should be under the purview of the mayor of the council, who is appointed by the minister.
According to the approved regulations, those wishing to contest the municipal elections should be at least 25 and literate. The candidate vying for the election should not have been convicted by a court of law or declared insolvent. The candidate should not have been dismissed from public service for dishonesty or immoral conduct during a period of five years preceding his application.
Those not eligible to contest include officials from the Ministry of Municipal and Rural Affairs, judges, notaries public, governors, heads of government departments, tribal leaders and their deputies, mayors, members of the Shoura Council, members of the Bureau of Investigation and Prosecution and investors who are involved in the activities of the municipal councils.
The council put off discussions on SMEs for a later date because members needed more time to discuss the 21-article draft proposal.