and Zain Anbar
JEDDAH — Jeddah Municipal Council member Lama Al-Sulaiman withdrew from the council on Monday and was replaced by a male member.
The Minister of Municipal and Rural Affairs Abdullatif Al-Asheikh appointed Hasan Basfar as the new member of Jeddah Municipal Council.
Basfar received the highest votes after Al-Sulaiman. His appointment has increased the ratio of men to women members of the council,” said a source.
“Speculation was rife about Al-Sulaiman’s withdrawal ever since the ministry instructed women members to sit in a separate room. Al-Sulaiman expressed her disapproval to be treated as a special member because she is a woman,” said the source.
Al-Sulaiman was interviewed by the local media to get an official statement on the rumors and speculations surrounding her status in the council.
She refused to address any matter relating to the council and sufficed by saying she is only open to questions related to the Jeddah Chamber of Commerce and Industry as she is also a member in the chamber, said the source.
Jeddah Municipal Council Head Adel Batati said the council does not discriminate against women members as rumored in the media. The council only adheres to the regulations set by the ministry.
Basfar said, “My goal is to serve my society. I will do my best to develop and improve my city. I will be representing Al-Nahdha neighborhood in the council. I am in the Jeddah Municipal Council Municipal Centers Executive Committee.”
Jeddah Municipal Council spokesman Saeed Al-Zahrani said the withdrawal of Al-Sulaiman is a big loss to the council.
“She is a businesswoman and a woman of many expertise. She is a pioneering member of society occupying many positions and serving in many fields. Her membership was very valuable for the council and the development of the city,” said Al-Zahrani.