NUA plans to contest Bahrain elections
Manama, January 5, 2013
The National Unity Assembly (NUA), one of Bahrain's biggest societies, is considering fielding candidates in the 2014 parliament and municipal elections in a bid to shake up the country's political landscape.
The NUA, which was set up in February 2011, said it wants to bring a fresh voice to the table and push for greater rights for citizens following last year's unrest, reported the Gulf Daily News, our sister publication.
"All the board members are reviewing all the aspects to field candidates to contest for the 2014 polls," said NUA secretary-general Abdulla Al Howaihi.
Next year's elections will come in a crucial phase of Bahrain's history following the unrest in 2011 and the resulting political stalemate.
The NUA had decided not to put forward any of its candidates to replace the 18 Al Wefaq MPs who resigned in 2011.
They stood down last February in protest against the way the government handled the unrest.
NUA chairman Dr Shaikh Abdullatif Al Mahmood earlier said the society would not take part in any fresh dialogue with the government following a court decision to reduce the death sentences of two men convicted of killing two policemen during the unrest to life in prison.
A society spokesman said the decision to field candidates would depend on the political situation at the time and the progress made by the country.
"We certainly want a parliament with more powers to represent the will of citizens," he said, explaining members continue to receive calls about street violence from angry citizens.
"The society's human rights committee continues to receive calls of people affected by road blockades, tyre burning, Molotov cocktails among other sabotage acts."
The society has now started visiting areas across the country to register complaints from residents about acts of sabotage.
"What we have noticed is that most of the violations or complaints are in areas that have mixed families from both sects such as in Hamad Town and parts of Budaiya," said the spokesman.
The society's human rights committee is also following up the cases of 6,415 citizens affected by the unrest with Justice, Islamic Affairs and Endowments Ministry.
It had submitted the names of victims to the ministry so that they could receive compensation from the Civil Settlement Initiative.
It detailed 6,415 alleged violations, 2,564 of which were from people claiming psychological trauma as a result of the unrest, and 1,426 affected by illegal roadblocks set up by anti-government protesters.
Other violations listed were 649 cases of alleged educational negligence and claims by 548 businesses affected as well as cases of sexual harassment, murder, abduction physical assault and property damage.
The NUA came into limelight in February 2011 when it organised a rally at Al Fateh Islamic Centre (Grand Mosque) in Juffair in support of the leadership, which attracted hundreds of thousands of followers.-TradeArabia News Service