In a surprising move, four women candidates have quit the municipal elections race, set for May 9th, according to an announcement in Bahrain Thursday.
Meanwhile, the Elections Committee director declared that the elections would be held in a "completely transparent manner" to ensure accurate and fair results.
Four women were amongst six candidates who have withdrawn from the elections, said the elections Executive Director Sheikh Ahmed bin Ateyyatullah Al Khalifa, according to Gulf News.
The four candidates were amongst 34 women who were initially on the candidates' lists. As of now, there are a total of 314 candidates who will compete for the ten seats-each five municipal councils.
Candidates have already started their campaigns, "pledging greater developments for their areas," said Sheikh Ahmed.
Many have erected tents at their homes' front-yards to attract and receive voters. In addition, candidates have pasted election posters and signs in the streets.
An estimated 237,000 people are eligible to vote in the elections, the first in Bahrain for three decades.
Women, however, have the right for the first time to vote and run for office.
Sheikh Ahmed expressed that the election procedures would be conducted under strict regulations, providing people with the opportunity to monitor the process.
"The process will go through a special system, which we believe will ensure [a] free, fair and accurate outcome. The procedures comply with international standards for elections of which the most important elements were transparency”.
"Everything will be conducted under the eyes of the candidates. They will be given the opportunity to monitor the procedures, including voting and counting and the final results. The aim was to ensure the validity of the elections and the honesty of its results," he added. (Albawaba.com)
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