Bahrain's electoral commission has accepted the candidatures of 29 Bahrainis, including four women, for the May 9th municipal polls, the first since 1957, the commission stated Wednesday.
"The commission accepted the candidacies of 29 nominees, including four women, out of 55 who nominated themselves until Tuesday," said the commission head, Sheikh Ahmad Atiyatollah al-Khalifa.
Hopefuls have until April 8th to put forward their candidacies.
The four female candidates told AFP last month that at least four other women planned to run for municipal office. "Our main objective is to expand women's participation in politics," according to Iman Hashem, one of the four women.
Over 237,000 eligible voters will be able to cast their ballots in fifty electoral districts in the five provinces of Bahrain, which counts 650,604 residents, 37.6 percent of whom are expatriates.
Bahraini women have been granted the right to vote and run for office in both municipal and parliamentary polls announced by head of state Sheikh Hamad bin Issa al-Khalifa on February 14th at the same time that he proclaimed Bahrain a constitutional monarchy and himself King.
Kuwait and Qatar are the only two Gulf Arab countries with elected municipal councils, and Qatari women participated in the municipal vote in March 1999.
The parliamentary elections in Bahrain are set for October 24th. (Albawaba.com)
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