Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

Bahraini PM Warns Against ‘Igniting Sectarianism’ in Upcoming Elections. | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Manama, Asharq Al-Awsat- Prime Minister Sheikh Khalifa Bin-Salman Al Khalifa warned yesterday against any deviation from the democratic process and called on candidates in the upcoming parliamentary elections to respect the opinion of others and “not ignite sectarianism”.

Receiving a number of ministers in the presence of the Shura Council speaker and the two deputy prime ministers Sheikh Muhammad Bin-Mubarak and Sheikh Ali Bin-Khalifa, the Bahraini prime minister made his first official comment on the polarizations in the Bahraini arena during the elections campaigns by underlining the need for all the candidates to comply with the “national constants and rules and stay away from anything that is bound to divide the sons of society, ignite sectarianism, and not respect the other opinion.” He also underlined the need to exploit this democratic celebration “in which all the sons of the homeland are taking part so as to consolidate national unity and increase cooperation and solidarity between society’s members. These are the rules which we are hoping that all the candidates will comply with.”

The Bahraini prime minister referred to the need for the citizen and the homeland’s elevation to be the main platform in the elections programs in addition to the protection of national unity, the homeland’s security and stability, and the renunciation of division and sectarianism among the sons of the single society. He underlined this by calling on the candidates to comply with the spirit of responsibility and the honest competition and to refrain from any irresponsible practices and actions “that distort the beautiful scene of Bahraini democracy.”

Sheikh Khalifa held the Bahraini society members responsible for consolidating the rules of honest competition “by respecting all the candidates and not spreading lies, tendentious rumors, false vituperations, and wrecking elections campaigns and centers as these are actions far removed from the ethics of the Bahraini people, make the perpetrators veer off the true course of the democratic process in the country, and remove them from active participation in the political life.”

Sources told “Asharq al-Awsat” that Bahrain’s second in command intervened at this time in order to maintain the balance in the elections process and ensure that it does not deviate from its context that the state is seeking, especially after the attacks by unidentified persons during some campaigns that led to the burning and destruction of elections centers and some statements and speeches that breached the democratic course which the state is encouraging.

Asked whether there are new government moves to stop any violations during the elections process, the sources said there are laws and rules to ensure that order is maintained and not broken but the ethics of free and honest competition sometimes do not have rules to control them “except by upholding the correct democratic practice and not deviating from it under any circumstances and in accordance with the ethics of the Bahraini people.”