Shaky election posters turn into safety hazard in Bahrain

October 6, 2010

Bahrain elections hopefuls are praying for fine weather in the next two weeks after light winds knocked down several billboards and posters carrying their pleas to get elected.

Following the start of the elections campaigns, most candidates have put up political banners, posters and billboards urging voters to cast their ballots in their favour on October 23, and if need be, on October 30 in constituencies where no clear winner secured at least 50 per cent of the votes.

However, a light wind that blew over Bahrain on Tuesday and early Wednesday knocked down several of the posters and hoardings amid growing concerns among candidates that stringer winds would seriously damage their publicity calls.

Citizens have also voiced concern that their safety and their cars could be at risk, blaming the candidates for using cheap material or makeshift poles to carry their pictures and messages.

“It seems that we have to avoid walking next to posters that could start flying at any time,” Saud Mohammad, an office clerk, said. “In Muharraq, we have so many posters that in some places, the pavement has been taken over. The problem is that strong winds could mean more dangers,” he said.

For Ahmad Al Dossari, the posters could turn into “identified flying objects” if they are not well fixed.

“When you go for makeshift solutions, you may cause mayhem. Municipalities should see to the situation before it is too late,” said the public relations manager.

However, some of the posters have been ripped up or defaced by people. With no arrest made or direct accusations leveled, the motives for the acts of sabotage have not been cleared.

In 2006, women candidates had moustaches drawn on their poster faces to reject their decision to run in the elections or to defame them among their constituents. Some tents were set ablaze, but no-one was arrested.

This year, no tent has been torched, but several posters were either torn or painted over.

A court on Monday ruled the reinstatement of billboards of liberal candidate Muneera Fakhroo that were removed by the municipality on grounds that they were offensive for their anti-corruption message.









About the author

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

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