Bahrain’s Islamic Action Society to announce position on elections soon

July 20, 2010
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Bahrain’s Islamic Action Society “Amal” said that it would soon announce its final position on whether it would boycott the forthcoming quadrennial parliamentary elections.

All registered societies have said that they would participate in the polls, confirming a tendency launched in 2006 when the elections were held for the second time following a three-decade hiatus.

In 2002, four political societies boycotted the elections to demand more constitutional rights. However, they reversed their stance four years later and only Amal did not field candidates.

“Shaikh Mohammad Ali Al Mahfoodh, the secretary general of the society, will hold a press conference when he comes back from his trip abroad and will announce the society’s stance on both the parliamentary and municipal elections,” Radhwan Al Moudawi, board secretary, said.

However, observers believe that Amal would most likely say that it would not be part of the elections after its main ally, Al Wefaq, Bahrain’s largest political and religious society, said that it would not include any member from another formation in its list for the elections.

Several smaller societies had hoped that they could garner enough support from Al Wefaq to allow them to carry seats either in the lower chamber of the bicameral parliament on in municipal councils.

However, Al Wefaq, this week, said that its candidates would all be members of the society, ruling out direct alliances with other societies. In 2006, Al Wefaq came under intense fire from its own allies for not supporting them directly and becoming the only voice of opposition in the lower chamber.

Reports claimed that Amal, the second largest Shiite formaton, had high hopes this time that Al Wefaq which controlled three of Bahrain’s five municipal councils in the 2006 – 2010 term would not contest in the Manama constituency to allow its own candidate Radhwan Al Mousawi to win and chair Manama’s Municipal Council.

However, Al Mousawi denied the claims as “untrue and lacking credibility.”

“This is total nonsense. We have never had any negotiations with Al Wefaq or any other political society for seats. There can never be talk with anyone until the society decides on whether it would run in the elections,” he said.

         

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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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