Expatriate Bahrainis to cast ballots on October 19

August 16, 2010
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Bahrainis living abroad will cast their ballots in the parliamentary elections on October 19, four days before their fellow citizens in Bahrain, the head of the elections commission said.

Voting in the second round for Bahraini expatriates will be held one week later on October 26, Nawaf Al Mouawda said.

Bahrain this month said that the third elections since the reinvigoration of parliamentary life after a three-decade hiatus will be held on October 23 with the second round for those who could not secure an outright win on October 30.

“We will put out the list of all eligible voters from August 21 until August 27, and we urge all Bahrainis to check the data to ensure they are correct,” Al Mouawda said. “Those who cannot make it to the supervision centre can log on to the elections website to check the information.”
Five centres, one in each of the country’s governorates, have been set up to help eligible voters.

Those who wish to run in the parliamentary elections must sign up their names between September 12 and September 16, he said. However, candidates for the municipal elections should register their names between September 20 and September 24.

“We have decided that the elections will be held under the logo ‘Your Vote is for All of Us’ to assert that voters are in fact choosing those who represent the whole country, and not just their constituency,” Al Mouawda said.

Lawmakers in the 2006-2010 lower chamber of the bicameral parliament have often been accused of serving narrow interests confined to their sect or constituency.

Voters will elect 40 MPs and 40 municipal councilors.

Leading political societies said that they would announce this week the list of their candidates.

Several Bahrainis, mainly men, said that they would run independently. Only eight of the 40 MPs in the outgoing lower chamber were independent, while 17 represented Al Wefaq, eight Al Asala and seven the Islamic Menbar.

Bahrain has 17 political societies, but only three succeeded in 2006 to win seats in the lower chamber. Members of the upper chamber are appointed by the king.

         

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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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