Manama: Bahrain will hold its next quadrennial parliamentary elections in November, according to a royal order issued on Monday.
Eligible voters will be able to cast their ballots from 8am until 8pm on November 24, the order said. The second round in the constituencies in which there are no clear winners will be held on December 1.
Elections for Bahrainis abroad will be held in the kingdom’s embassies, consulates and diplomatic missions on November 20, with the second round taking place a week later, on November 27.
Candidates for the 40-seat Council of Representatives, the lower chamber of the bicameral parliament, have five days, from October 17 until October 21, to submit their applications to the competent election committees.
Bahrain has been holding parliamentary and municipal elections regularly every four years since 2002 following the end of a political hiatus through constitutional changes that gave women the right to vote and run in elections.
Although no woman won in the elections in 2002, history was made in 2006 when Lateefa Al Gaood became the first woman to be elected to a parliament in the GCC.
In the last elections in 2014, independents won 37 of the 40 seats in a massive blow to political groups. In 2010, only 17 independents were elected.
Despite various challenges in the region, all the elections were held without delays in 2002, 2006, 2010 and 2014.
“We are keen on continuing to develop political and democratic practices in Bahrain,” King Hamad Bin Eisa Al Khalifa said on Monday as he chaired the weekly cabinet session.
“We are fully determined to preserve our democratic achievements and to strengthen them through constitutional institutions. The 16 years of parliamentary action are a significant asset in enhancing democratic practices and consolidating popular participation,” King Hamad said.