Aden Legislative Council election, 1959

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Elections to the Legislative Council were held in the Colony of Aden on 4 January 1959.[1]


In the previous elections in 1955 only four of the Council's 18 seats were elected.[2] This was raised to 12 elected seats on an enlarged Council of 23 members.[2] The colony was divided into five constituencies, each electing two or three members.[2] Restrictions on suffrage led to only 21,500 people being registered to vote from a population of 180,000.[2] Of the remaining 11 members of the Council, five were ex officio and six were nominees.[1] Five of the members (at least three of which had to be elected member) would be appointed "Members in charge" by the Governor, and would have responsibility for government departments.[1]

A total of 31 candidates contested the election,[1] with between five and seven in each constituency.[2]


Of the 12 elected members, nine were Arabs, two were Somalis and one was Indian.[2] All were described as "aging, pro-British and moneyed".[2]

Only 6,000 votes were cast, following calls for a boycott by the Aden Trade Union Congress, with voter turnout at just 27%.[3] Turnout varied from 43% in Crater to 15% in Sheikh Othman–Little Aden.[3]

Elected members[edit]

The winning candidates were all independents, and received between 902 and 207 votes:[3]

  • Saidi (902 votes)
  • Kudabax Khan (854 votes)
  • Bayoumi (704 votes)
  • Salole (663 votes)
  • Ali Lukman (637 votes)
  • Saidi Hussain (580 votes)
  • Abdullah Binswalla (567 votes)
  • K Joshi (543 votes)
  • Ali Awan Moulhi (521 votes)
  • Maktari (440 votes)
  • Husaini (368 votes)
  • Mustaffa Abdullah (207 votes)


Despite the pro-British nature of the elected members, the Council only narrowly approved joining the Federation of South Arabia.[2]


  1. ^ a b c d "Aden Elections To-Morrow" The Times, 3 January 1959, p10, issue 54349
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h Sheila Carapico (2007) Civil Society in Yemen: The Political Economy of Activism in Modern Arabia Cambridge University Press, p86
  3. ^ a b c "6,000 Go To The Polls In Aden" The Times, 6 January 1959, p6, issue 54351