Bahrain votes in parliamentary elections
The number of registered voters has decreased from 365,467 in 2018 to 344,713 in 2022
By News Desk - November 12 2022

Photo Credit: Reuters

Bahrainis headed to the polls on 12 November in legislative elections to choose from more than 500 candidates who are running for 40 parliamentary and 30 municipal seats.

Meanwhile, human rights activists called for a boycott of the elections, as opposition parties are banned from participation.

The government assured that the elections are “democratic” and that 67% of the electorate had participated, according to Middle East Monitor.

Polling stations opened their doors at eight o’clock in the morning and voting is scheduled to continue until eight o’clock in the evening.

According to reports, 15 general centers and 40 sub-polling centers are distributed by constituencies across the Kingdom, with 344,713 registered voters expected to cast their votes, down from 365,467 registered voters in 2018.

According to Bahraini authorities, 506 candidates ran in elections, of which 137 are running for the municipal councils. The 54 polling stations are open throughout the country for 12 hours.

According to Justice Minister Khalid bin Ali Al-Khalifa, the turnout reached 67%, surpassing that of the 2014 elections, when the opposition called for a boycott of the elections. He did not disclose however when the official results will be announced, according to Reuters.

It is also reported that the number of female candidates increased significantly in size. A total of 94 female candidates are set to compete for seats and representation.

However, according to Al-Jazeera, the “London-based Bahrain Institute for Rights and Democracy described the vote as a “sham”, saying other legislation linking voter inclusion with previous election participation appeared to be aimed at individuals who boycotted earlier polls.”

The Al-Khalifa family, which rules the country, has harshly repressed any hint of protest since the failed uprising staged in 2011 by the Shiite opposition. Saudi Arabia sent troops to its ally to crush the revolt, fearing that any concession by Bahrain would inspire Saudi Arabia’s Shiite minority, according to Middle East Monitor.

Rights group Amnesty International criticized “highly restrictive measures” that bar members of banned opposition groups and those who served jail terms longer than six months.

Authorities in Bahrain deny accusations of human rights abuses and say its elections are democratic.

Most Popular