More than 900 women are standing alongside thousands of men in the December 12 municipal ballot, which will also mark the first time women are allowed to vote.

"I've been eliminated as a candidate for the municipal elections," Loujain Hathloul said in a tweet.

Saudi authorities detained Hathloul for more than two months after she tried to drive into the kingdom last December from the United Arab Emirates, in defiance of a Saudi ban on female motorists.

Ruled by King Salman, oil-rich Saudi Arabia has no elected legislature and has faced intense Western scrutiny over its rights record.

The country's first municipal elections were held in 2005, followed by another vote in 2011. In both cases only men were allowed to participate.

From restaurants to banks, offices and election facilities -- the sexes are strictly segregated in the kingdom. Saudi Arabia is the only country in the world where women are not allowed to drive.

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