Overseas Bahrainis get ready to vote as committee raps “slanderous” campaigns

October 17, 2010
By

Ali Salman

Around 2,000 Bahrainis will cast their ballots in Bahrain’s 30 embassies and consulates abroad, the chief executive of the elections said.

“We have 1,195 people who signed up their names to vote abroad,” Nawaf Al Mouawda said. “They will cast their ballots on Tuesday October 19 in Bahrain’s diplomatic missions between 9 am and 7 pm,” he said.

The second round will be held one week later.

Under Bahrain’s election laws, Bahrainis living abroad are allowed to vote in parliamentary elections for a candidate in the constituency where they live.

Only those who registered their names in the allocated period from September 29 to October 5 can cast their ballot, Al Mouawda said.

However, those who missed the overseas date can vote in Bahrain on October 23 or, in the case of a second round, on October 30, he said.

Around 300,000 Bahrainis will elect 35 lawmakers for the 2010-2014 lower chamber which has 40 seats.

Five of the candidates, including one woman, have already been assured of victory after their opponents pulled out of the race.

The five candidates, three independents, one from Al Asala and one from Al Wefaq, were MPs in the 2006-2010 lower chamber.

However, with only a few days to go before Elections Day, not all past lawmakers are sure of representing their constituencies a second or third time as arguments between society-backed and independent candidates hot up.

The Supreme Elections Committee urged all candidates to adhere to the highest moral ethics and standards and to ensure they are engaged in a fair and civil competition.

In a statement issued on Saturday, the committee said that it categorically rejected “campaigns based on unsubstantiated defamation, slanders and allegations for self-serving propaganda purposes.”

The committee’s statement was issued as it said that Ali Salman, the head of Al Wefaq, Bahrain’s largest society and parliamentary bloc in 2006-2010, had failed to produce evidence that supports his questioning of the transparency of the forthcoming elections.

Ali Salman earlier this month said Al Wefaq had doubts about the integrity of the elections.

The committee gave him one week to present the evidence he used to reach that conclusion.

         

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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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