updated 4/23/2005 7:23:20 AM ET 2005-04-23T11:23:20

Candidates backed by conservative clerics dominated in the final stage of Saudi Arabia’s landmark municipal elections, according to results announced Saturday.

In the kingdom’s commercial capital of Jiddah, the seven winning candidates all were those whose names had appeared on what was dubbed the “golden list” — the picks of fundamentalist clerics. Five of the six winners in Buraydah, capital of ultraconservative Qaseem province, similarly had been given a clerical nod, and the holy city of Medina also saw Islamist candidates showing well.

Many Islamists had fared well in February and March voting for municipal councils elsewhere in the kingdom. Though they will have significant sway, the government can balance the councils by naming more liberal voices to the half of all council seats reserved for government appointees.

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