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Bahrain’s political societies lose big in polls

New parliament overwhelmingly dominated by independent representatives

Image Credit: AFP
A Bahraini man casts his vote at a general polling station at Seef mall, in the capital Manama, on November 28, 2014, as the Gulf kingdom holds the second round of municipal and legislative elections.
Gulf News

Manama: Political societies in Bahrain got their lowest share of votes since 2002 in parliamentary elections, winning only four of the 40 seats on offer.

As the final results were announced late on Tuesday evening by Justice Minister Shaikh Khalid Bin Ali Al Khalifa following the run-off elections, it became clear that the new-look lower chamber of the bicameral parliament will include the fewest number of political society-affiliated candidates since 2002 when national polls were held for the first time.

Al Asala succeeded in winning two seats while the Islamic Menbar and Al Rabta each won one seat.

The new parliament, overwhelmingly dominated by independent candidates, will have 30 lawmakers who will make their debut on December 14 when it convenes for the first time. Only ten lawmakers from the outgoing parliament were re-elected, allowing for a 75 per cent change in its composition.

Only Three women were able to secure seats over the two rounds, one less than in the previous term, when four women won. This year, 23 female candidates contested the quadrennial elections.

The three, Fatima Al Asfoor, Roua Al Hayki and Jamila Al Sammak, are from the Northern Governorate, an area traditionally seen as among the most conservative in the country. None of the female candidates in the other three governorates was able to win.

Bahrain held parliamentary elections in 2002, 2006 and 2010. No woman won in 2002 and only one in 2006.

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