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Religious candidates triumph in Saudi elections

3 May 2005

A young Saudi blogger, Ahmed, on his experience of the first (municipal) elections in Saudi Arabia in 30 years in Global Voices. He describes how campaign posters bore the only non-blurred pictures of human faces seen on Saudi streets (usually pictures of people are banned by religious decree). Only 7 could be elected from 646 candidates; women were not allowed to vote; and a group of hardline Islamic candidates (the "Golden List") dominated the results. Still Ahmed says: "I was proud to be a part of this historical event". Let's hope it marks the beginning of something better.

There seems to be a lot of disappointment going around about the Islamists winning so big, but what are you supposed to do when a democratic election elects non-democratic candidates? Geoff Mulgan in the FT this weekend reviews a few books that explore this question.

How can Americans fight dark money and disinformation?

Violence, corruption and cynicism threaten America's flagging democracy. Joe Biden has promised to revive it – but can his new administration stem the flow of online disinformation and shady political financing that has eroded the trust of many US voters?

Hear from leading global experts and commentators on what the new president and Congress must do to stem the flood of dark money and misinformation that is warping politics around the world.

Join us on Thursday 21 January, 5pm UK time/12pm EST.

Hear from:

Emily Bell Leonard Tow Professor of Journalism and director, Tow Center for Digital Journalism, Columbia Journalism School

Anoa Changa Journalist focusing on electoral justice, social movements and culture

Peter Geoghegan openDemocracy investigations editor and author of 'Democracy for Sale: Dark Money and Dirty Politics'

Josh Rudolph Fellow for Malign Finance at the Alliance for Securing Democracy

Chair: Mary Fitzgerald Editor-in-chief, openDemocracy 

Further speakers to be announced

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