Khadem wins legislative Bahrain by-election

June 27, 2012

A former municipal councillor has become Bahrain’s new lawmaker after he won a tightly fought by-election contest in Muharraq’s eighth constituency.

Sameer Khadem’s advantage over Abdul Rahman Bu Ali was by 185 votes in a contest in which 3,328 voters cast their ballots at the main polling station in Hidd and two other centres located at the international airport and a shopping mall.

Initially, four candidates, including a woman, ran in the by-election held after the seat was vacated by former MP Ganem Al Bu Ainain who was appointed state minister for foreign affairs in April.

However, as no candidate secured the required 50 per cent to win, the top two contesters, Sameer Khadem and Abdul Rahman Bu Ali, advanced to the second round.

Both ran as independent candidates, but reports say Bu Ali had the support of Al Asala, the Salafist society that had held the post since 2002 when the first multi-party legislative elections were held after a three-decade constitutional hiatus.

Al Asala did not officially field a candidate to replace Al Bu Ainain.

The turnout at the by-elections was 40.9 per cent, slightly more than the 37 per cent in the first round.

Polling was slow in the morning, but picked up in late afternoon. The day off leisure and the scorching heat were major factors in the slow start.

Two societies monitored the elections and reported minor violations related to supporters not respecting the required distance from the main polling station.



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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