Bahraini Voters in America Head to the Polls
Bahraini citizens living in the United States voted in Bahrain's Parliamentary elections today, a coordinated effort among 30 overseas embassies and diplomatic missions outside of the Kingdom of Bahrain. "I was happy to see my fellow Bahrainis living in the U.S. coming to the polls and participating in the democratic process," said Houda Nonoo, Bahrain's Ambassador to the United States. "This is the time where we reaffirm what it means to be an active citizen of Bahrain, passionate about our nation and excited for the future."
Approximately 1200 Bahraini residents applied to vote overseas in this year's election. Nationwide voting in Bahrain occurs this Saturday, October 23, 2010. US citizens who are resident in Bahrain and own property can vote in the Municipal elections. Bahrain is also home to the U.S. Navy's 5th Fleet.
Nawaf Alma'awadah, Chief Public Prosecutor and Elections Executive Director, welcomed the figures by commenting, "We are pleased to see Bahraini citizens all over the world participating in the democratic process. It is important to us that all citizens of Bahrain have the opportunity to vote and it is important to the people of Bahrain that their voice is heard."
Bahrain's Supreme Committee for Elections has emphasized its commitment to upholding free and fair elections in advance of Bahrain's nationwide voting this weekend.
Judge Abdulla Al Buainain, President of Legislation and Legal Commission said: "We will be using UN-approved transparent ballot boxes for the first time in these elections which serves as an excellent illustration of the probity of the elections, and with over 370 NGO monitors, a nominated Agent for every candidate and webcams in the polling stations, we can confidently assert that the elections will be free, fair and transparent."
Meanwhile, Parliamentary candidates have been campaigning for over four weeks and 35 of the 40 seats in the lower house, the Chamber of Representative or Chamber of Deputies, remain to be decided when over 318,000 Bahraini citizens cast their votes.
Five candidates have already secured their seat including the first female MP, Ms Latifa Mohamed Ahmed Al Gaoud of the Southern Governorate. Other candidates that have secured their seats as they were either uncontested or have since seen candidate withdrawals are: Abduljalil Khalil Ebrahim Hasan, in the Capital Governorate; Adel Abdulrahman Jasim Almuawda, Muharraq Governorate; Abdulla Khalaf Rashed Mohamed Aldoseri and; Khamis Hamad Mohamed Alromaihi, both of Southern Governorate.