(MENAFN - Arab News) There has been a 50 percent increase in young people standing as candidates for the Jeddah Chamber of Commerce and Industry's (JCCI) board of directors, according to an election official.
Ahmed Said Al-Ghamdi, head of the JCCI media center, said that this was because many more young people were becoming involved in businesses in the region.
Al-Ghamdi was speaking on Tuesday afternoon as men voters turned up to cast their ballots for their favorite candidates in the 21st election for the JCCI board.
Those elected will serve a four-year term.
Several executives said more people have been turning up to vote because the elections are now taking place over a period of six days.
A total of 3,000 businessmen gathered at the chamber's elections site at the Jeddah Center for Forums and Events on Tuesday.
The polls will close on Thursday.
Voters are casting their ballots for 48 candidates competing to fill 12 board seats.
There are 40 candidates, including eight women, competing for six trade seats, with eight competing for the remaining six industrial seats.
Each voter can only choose one candidate.
The Ministry of Commerce will appoint six members, raising the board to 18 members.
A total of 47,000 JCCI members are eligible to vote in the elections. Some members are not allowed to participate, including heads of law firms and consulting companies.
Al-Ghamdi said only people with valid JCCI membership can vote.
He said some people who thought they were entitled to vote were not aware of the JCCI's regulations.
He said voters must have renewed their membership in the current year to be eligible.
Yahya bin Ali Azzan, head of the committee supervising the elections, said that members are using special cards to vote.
This was introduced to ensure transparency.
"Voters are able to choose their candidate by swiping their magnetic cards and voting for their favorite candidate," he said.
The electronic counting of votes and the results would be broadcast on the chamber's channel, he said. The system was introduced in 2011.
The JCCI has 70,000 members and provides services to businesspeople in Rabigh, Al-Laith and Qunfudah.