Voters in Oman are casting ballots for an advisory council following unprecedented protests that brought promises of a greater public voice in the Arabian peninsula country.
The official Oman News Agency says more than 1,300 candidates are seeking seats Saturday on the 84-member Shura Council, a decade-old body that has no direct authority but advises the ruling sultan.
Sultan Qaboos bin Said had pledged to consider more powers for the council, but no changes have been announced.
Protests and clashes broke out earlier this year by demonstrations seeking more jobs and political openness. The sultan promised 50,000 new civil servant posts and set aside $2.6 billion for other employment initiatives.