Executive Summary: Saudi Arabia received a failing overall score of 0 percent for electoral fairness. The score means that the constitutional and legislative basis for Saudi Arabia's political system is completely unfair. Although there are elections in Saudi Arabia at the municipal level of government, they are irregular, and women are not permitted to participate as either voters or candidates. Also, the elected members of the 178 municipalities are offset by an equal portion of unelected members of the municipalities. Further, the municipalities have no power over the Saudi king and the executive and consultative branches of government. Underlying this political framework is the dominance of Islam and Sharia law as determined by the Sharia Religious Council, and whereby political parties are banned. The FDA auditors could find no element of electoral fairness in Saudi Arabia, and concluded that a country directed and guided by Islam and Sharia law is inconsistent fundamentally with democracy. The will of the people is replaced by the will of God as determined by the Saudi Sharia Council and the Saudi king and his royal family.
2011 FDA Electoral Fairness Audit Report on Saudi Arabia