Omanis went to the polls on 15 October to elect representatives to the country’s Shura Council. Of the 84 elected members, three were activists that participated in the protests earlier this year as part of Oman’s civil unrest.

Activists have praised the election of former protesters such as Salim al-Mashani, who was detained in Salalah in February for his part in the protests.

The Shura Council is in place to advise the Sultan. Since the unrest earlier this year, it has also been granted some legislative and regulatory powers. All of the members of the Shura Council are elected except the president.

Voter turnout was higher than expected, particularly among female Omanis. However, only one female candidate has been elected. Around 76 per cent of Oman’s 52,000 registered voters cast their ballots. Only 28 per cent of Oman’s registered voters turned out in 2007.

The Sultan has already granted some Shura Council members ministerial posts.