Fourth businessman to run in Bahrain’s quadrennial parliamentary elections

July 19, 2010
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A fourth businessman is likely to be running in the quadrennial parliamentary elections this autumn.

Khalid Al Amin would run for a seat to represent Muharraq in the lower chamber of the bicameral parliament, sources said.

Muharraq, Bahrain’s second largest city and island, has traditionally been the ideological seat of liberal and pan-Arabism ideologies. However, liberal figures have been unable to secure seats in the 2002 and 2006 legislative elections, crashed by strong competition from deeply Sunni religious candidates representing Al Asala, the flagship of Salafism, and the Islamic Menbar, the offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood in Bahrain.

Al Amin, like other independent candidates running in Muharraq, hope to garner enough votes to assert liberal ideas in the lower chamber where 32 of the 40 lawmakers in the 2006-2010 term were openly religious figures.

Several business people have complained about “a total disregard for their interests by the 2006-2010 lower chamber” and called for a coalition to either field or support candidates who would defend their causes and voice their views when draft laws or motions are debated.

No date has been for the elections, the third to be held since King Hamad Bin Isa Al Khalifa put an end to a constitutional hiatus that last almost three decades.

However, the polls for 40 seats in the lower chamber and 40 seats on municipal councils are likely to be held in mid-October, one month after the end of Ramadan.

The three major political societies, all religion-based, have yet to announce their list of candidates amid dwindling hopes that they would include women. Their stance would be another blow to official and popular efforts to help women achieve better results in the national elections.

         

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About the author

Born August 3, 1960 in Monastir, Tunisia
Career
Media career:
  • ABC News (Tunisia)
  • Bahrain Tribune
  • Gulf News
  • Bahrain Television News
Teaching career:
  • Monastir (Tunisia)
  • University of Bahrain
Education
  • MA  Mass Communications, University of Leicester
  • BA  in English & US literature and studies, University of Tunis

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