Bahrain sets record turnout in elections

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By Nayla Barakat

Manama, Nov.12 (BNA): Bahrain has recorded 73 percent of a record turnout in the 2022 general elections, the highest figure since the first elections in 2002.

The elections went smoothly across the Kingdom and he eligible voters used the right of franchise on Saturday for electing 40-member Council of Representatives and 30-member municipality councils for a four-year term.

This was revealed by the Minister for Justice, Islamic Affairs and Endowments and head of High Committee for Elections for 2022 Nawaf bin Mohammed Al Mua’awda during a Press conference at the close of the polls.

The minister said that the success of the record turnout was a culmination of the democratic progress led by His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa since 2002 and supported by His Royal Highness Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, the Crown Prince and Prime Minister.

“I congratulate the leadership and citizens for making this process successful, smooth and objective,” the minister said, adding that the elections were fair, free, and impartial with voting continuing without interruption across the country.

Nawaf Bin Hamza, the Executive Director, said that there was no complaint received from the committee and the entire process went smoothly.

However, he added, any complaints from the candidates will be investigated by the concerned departments and the respective ministries.

Hamza said that the Kingdom has the capacity and capability to hold electronic voting but for that, the necessary legislation is needed.

“We did use the electronic system to verify the voters lists and other processes, but going full digital elections will only be possible in future,” he said.

“There was no untoward incident, or an interruption reported since the start of the polling at 8am on Saturday across the country.

This year Bahrain has recorded the highest number of candidates as 561 and 176 candidates were vying for 40 and 30 seats for the lower house of the parliament and for the municipal councils, respectively. This represents an increase of 20 per cent compared with 2018.

The polling kicked off at 8am across the country and was closed by 8pm without any interruption, with people within the polling station premises allowed to cast their ballots even after the closing time.