First winner of Bahrain parliamentary by-elections announced

September 6, 2011

Ali Ahmad Al Durazi became the first candidate in the parliamentary by-elections to reach the lower chamber after his two opponents pulled out of the race.His uncontested win was announced by Shaikh Khalid Bin Ali Al Khalifa, the justice minister.

“Ali Al Durazi has carried the third constituency of the Northern Governorate after Mohammad Kadhim Al Matrook and Taqi Abdulrasool Al Zeera have withdrawn their candidacies,” Shaikh Khalid said.

Al Durazi’s win leaves 17 seats vacant at the 40-member lower chamber before the September 24 by-elections in four governorates.

The new lawmakers will replace the 18 members who represented Al Wefaq who resigned in late February to protest against the way the authorities handled demonstrators.

The en masse resignation, the first in Bahrain’s parliament history, was initially refused by the lower chamber, but was eventually accepted, a decision that warranted either dissolving the lower chamber or holding by-elections.

Al Wefaq last month said that it would not field new candidates to retain its seats and called for more reforms that would give the lower chamber more powers.

Other societies also said that they would not take part in the by-elections, but cited other reasons that included the need to focus on their internal affairs to improve their winning capabilities.

Several formations called for the boycott of the elections to put pressure for more reforms; however, the government has urged for a wide participation in the polling to reinforce representation steps.

According to the elections officials, around 187,000 people are scheduled to cast their ballots on September 24 and, if need be in case of no clear winner in a constituency, on October 1.

Bahrainis abroad will be able to vote at Bahraini diplomatic missions abroad on September 20 and in case of a second round on September 27.

In 2002, Al Wefaq and other opposition societies boycotted the parliamentary elections, the first to be held in around 30 years. However, they reversed their stance in 2006 and 2010.

However, only Al Wefaq secured seats in landslide victories that allowed its 18 candidates, all men, in 2010 to carry their constituencies in four of Bahrain’s five governorates.



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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