Alhurra and Radio Sawa provided thorough coverage of the Saudi municipal elections on Dec. 12, 2015. These were the Kingdom’s first ever nationwide elections in which women were able to stand for office and vote. There were 978 female candidates and 5,938 male candidates vying for 2,106 seats on 284 councils whose powers are restricted to local affairs. The pledge to allow women to vote and run was made by the late King Abdullah following the 2011 Arab Spring political upheaval in the region.
Alhurra and Radio Sawa provided extensive coverage of the first round of the Parliamentary elections in Egypt on Oct. 18-19th. These were the first such elections since the previous chamber was dissolved in 2012. Alhurra had special live coverage throughout the day and extended newscasts to get reaction from the polls in Giza, Alexandria and Asyut, as well as interviews with Egyptian political analysts and American experts on Egypt. The network also extended its flagship talk show Free Hour to two hours during which representatives from a variety of political parties in Egypt discussed the lack of voter turnout and what that means for the political process in Egypt.