Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

Bahrain Shiite Opposition 'Wins 18 of 40 Seats' - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
Select Page

MANAMA (AFP) – Bahrain’s main Shiite opposition group, the Islamic National Accord Association, won 18 of parliament’s 40 seats in a weekend poll, the electoral commission said on Sunday.

The 18 candidates of INAA, which won 17 parliamentary seats at the last election in 2006, were elected in the first round of the legislative poll held on Saturday, electoral commission chairman Abdullah al-Buainain told AFP.

Nine seats remain up for grabs in the second round of voting which is to take place on October 30, he added without elaborating.

Some people complained on Saturday that their names had been missing from voters’ lists, but senior officials dismissed such claims as commonplace.

With Sunday’s results, the Shiite group strengthens its presence in the lower house of parliament which has the authority to examine and pass legislation proposed by the king or cabinet and also has monitoring powers.

The upper chamber, or consultative council, has the power to block legislation coming out of the lower house.

Voters were tasked with choosing from 127 candidates, eight of them women, to elect the 40-member parliament, while the king names the members of a 40-strong upper chamber.

Justice Minister Sheikh Khaled bin Ali al-Khalifa, head of the electoral commission, estimated turnout of “at least 67 percent,” compared with 72 percent in 2006 and 53.4 percent in 2002.

Ahead of the polls, a wave of arrests of Shiite political activists drew warnings from international human rights watchdogs of a drift back to full-blown authoritarianism.

The Foreign Minister Sheikh Khaled bin Ahmad al-Khalifa insisted on Saturday that the arrests were “not linked to elections.”

The archipelago state was plagued in the 1990s by a wave of Shiite-led unrest which has abated since the steps launched to convert the emirate into a constitutional monarchy.

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat is the world’s premier pan-Arab daily newspaper, printed simultaneously each day on four continents in 14 cities. Launched in London in 1978, Asharq Al-Awsat has established itself as the decisive publication on pan-Arab and international affairs, offering its readers in-depth analysis and exclusive editorials, as well as the most comprehensive coverage of the entire Arab world.

More Posts

Follow Me:
FacebookGoogle PlusYouTube