Bahrain begins registration for September 24 by-polls

August 24, 2011

Bahrain Monday began the registration process for candidates planning to sign up for next month’s parliamentary by-elections.

Four posts were set up in four governorates where by-elections will be held and will remain open in the evening until Wednesday, the authorities said.

About 180,000 Bahrainis are eligible to cast ballots on September 24 to choose 18 new lawmakers who will replace the former MPs who represented Al Wefaq Islamic Society in the lower chamber. Al Wefaq lawmakers handed their resignations in late February to protest against the way the authorities handled the demonstrations.

Al Wefaq, the National Democratic Action Society “Waad”, the Progressive Democratic Tribune and the Pan-Arab Rally said that they would boycott the elections and called for better political contexts and a more representative lower chamber.

Islamist societies initially said that they would not take part in the polls to focus on regaining their strength following poor results in the parliamentary elections in October. However, they are now likely to either field candidates or to support those whom they deem to be “an additional value” to the country’s lower chamber.

The government on Sunday called for a big turnout for the by-elections, saying that a massive popular support would significantly boost the reform process.

Prime Minister Prince Khalifa Bin Salman Al Khalifa, chairing the weekly session, encouraged all potential voters to participate effectively for the sake of democracy and to support reforms and boost popular participation in the management of state affairs.

However, the government stressed the significance of active participation in an atmosphere of freedom and transparency “away from any instigation or intimidation.”

Opposition societies in 2002 had boycotted the elections, the first to be held after a three-decade constitutional hiatus.



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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