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Bahrain reveals October poll details

Manama, September 7, 2010

About 318,000 people are eligible to vote in Bahrain's parliamentary elections to be held next month.

The candidate registration process for the election will start on September 12 and close on September 16, said the High Committee for Elections.

The committee today announced details of the electoral and registration process for the parliamentary elections as well as details of the candidate registration procedures.

The judicial committee, composed of four senior judges and chaired by Justice Minister Shaikh Khaled bin Ali Al Khalifa, gave a preview of the now completed voter registration numbers and also outlined the national monitoring scheme that will take place for the 2010 polls.

“Initial figures indicate that the number of Bahraini voters for the Parliamentary elections will be in the region of 318,000. The exact number will be confirmed following the formal verification meeting by the High Committee for Elections in the next few days,” said Shaikh Khaled.

Elections Executive Director, Nawaf Alma'awdah, providing insight into the voter registration period that closed on August 27, said:  “Bahrain has an automatic registration process but voters have the opportunity to check their details are correct both online and in person. During the voter registration period 135,000 checks were made on voter details via the vote.bh election portal.”

“Of these 246 records were queried; 212 were upheld and 34 rejected. Of those rejected a further nine were progressed through the Appeal Court process and following a decision of the Appeal Court on September 4 eight of the nine remained rejected and one was overturned,” Alma'awdah added.

Judge Khalid Hassan Ajaji, High Committee member, outlined the process for the NGO and individual monitoring system for Bahrain.

“We are immensely proud of the high standards of Bahrain’s election processes. There is a real emphasis on the participatory nature of these elections and their conduct.   Furthermore, we have made it possible for all Bahrainis to play an active role as an election monitor based on strict criteria based on fairness and impartiality,” he said.

Shaikh Khaled went on to outline the conditions for those wishing to register as election monitors which were laid out as follows:

• They should register under the name of a national NGO but are not required to be a member of that NGO
• Should be a Bahraini citizen with the right to vote
• Should not be a member or affiliate of any political society
• Should not be a candidate, related to a candidate or have the power of attorney or deputy for the candidate, nor be one of the 10 people required to recommend a candidate
• Prospective election monitors should present their request to the Elections Executive Director before 5th October with their full name, CPR number and two photographs
• Monitors must refrain from showing any political bias, should restrict their observations to the specific districts they are monitoring and present a factual observations to authorities in the appropriate manner

Shaikh Khaled said: “I would encourage every Bahraini citizen to take advantage of his or her democratic right and participate fully in the forthcoming elections.”

“These election are an important milestone in Bahrain’s ongoing programme of democratic reform and demonstrates Bahrain’s commitment to a fully inclusive democratic process,” he concluded. – TradeArabia News Service




Tags: Bahrain | Parliament | Registration | polls | elections | October |

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