According to announcements made on Sunday by the authorities, six candidates, including one woman won seats in Bahrain’s first round of parliamentary elections, while others will compete for the remaining 34 seats in the second round the following week.
On Saturday, Bahraini citizens cast their votes in polling places all throughout the tiny Gulf nation. 73 percent of voters participated in the election, which featured a record number of candidates, according to Justice Minister Nawaf bin Mohammed al-Maawda, who spoke to reporters late on Saturday. This was “the highest participation rate since 2002,” he said, and “no violations (..) were recorded.”
The 40-seat council of representatives, the lower chamber of parliament that advises King Hamad, who has reigned since his father’s passing in March 1999, is being filled by more than 330 applicants, including a record 73 women.
This is an increase from the 293 candidates, including 41 women, who stood for office in the most recent election in 2018.
Six candidates five men and one woman won seats in the election, which was announced on Sunday. A run-off will be held for the remaining seats the following Saturday.
Since protests in 2011 that were sparked by calls for a constitutional monarchy and other political reforms, there have been three elections.
Bahrain, which is the location of the US Fifth Fleet, frequently accuses its neighbor Iran of inciting instability through training armed organizations, a claim Tehran refutes. The Gulf monarchy has roughly 350,000 registered voters out of a total population of about 1.4 million.