Citizens for Bahrain’s elections data is the most comprehensive and detailed English language guide available on the Bahrain 2014 elections process.
Citizens for Bahrain’s elections guide profiles all 40 political constituencies and the 266 candidates still contesting. Around 300 candidates initially registered for participation in the parliamentary elections, however there have been a number of withdrawals during the course of the contest as well as a few candidates whose candidacy was subsequently disallowed.
The information is based on media reporting, official sources and material provided by the candidates themselves and is the best understanding of the situation as of 13 November. We will endeavor to update this guide as more information becomes available.
Please note that all predictions are no more than best guesses based on the information available. They reflect our interpretation of the facts, not our preferences.
The *asterisk indicates female candidates. Most candidates are independents, where candidates are affiliated with a political society, this is highlighted in red.
Areas covered: Hilla, Meqsha, Karranah, Janusan, Barbar, Diraz
Number of candidates: 7
Front-runners: Ali al-Dirazi (MP)
Worth watching: Yassir Nassif, Hussain Habib, Jaffar al-Asfour
Outsiders: Fatimah al-Asfour, Mohammed Shehab, Mohammed Rabea
Withdrawn candidates: Mirza Ahmed Ali
Likelihood of going to second round: 50%
Housing blocks: 444, 450, 454, 456, 458, 460, 502, 504, 506, 508, 514, 518, 520, 522, 524, 526, 528, 530, 536
Registered voters: 10,749
Candidates queue up to oppose the boycott
Standing MP Al-Dirazi has been very visible in all the newspapers, indicating that he will be by far the most recognizable face in a constituency where any attempts by candidates to promote themselves exposes them to significant risks.
Large and numerous Al-Dirazi billboards are on view all along the Budaya highway at the major entrances to this district. Perhaps unsurprisingly, several of these billboards have been attacked and burnt.
However, young candidate Yassir Nassif has waged a vigourous grassroots-level campaign, in which he has sought to articulate the concerns and grievances of young people.
At least two candidates – Ali al-Dirazi and Jaffar al-Asfour – were subject to severe firebomb attacks by opposition militants in late October.
Mirza Ahmad Ali, a founding member of Al-Wefaq, caused controversy when he defied his society’s boycott and registered his candidacy. Al-Wefaq threatened to throw him out and he withdrew from the contest, citing his fears for the safety of his family.
Ali Ahmed Ali Ahmed al-Dirazi – Incumbent
Standing MP Al-Dirazi has expressed his optimism that the new Parliament will be stronger as a result of the large numbers of technocrats competing for seats. In an interview with Al-Ayam he talked about the importance of bringing together a united front to respond to the challenges the country faces. Among his priorities he stressed the issues of housing, improving quality of life and strengthening the private sector, including the need to improve private sector wages.
He has also called for strengthening Parliament’s powers, in order to better hold ministers to account and monitor public sector spending.
Al-Dirazi stressed that change could only come through the parliamentary process, and that boycotts in the past had weakened the Bahraini Parliament. Al-Dirazi won his seat in the 2011 by-election, following the Al-Wefaq walk-out.
Al-Dirazi stated that he would continue to contest the elections despite militants attacking his home on 24 October and burning his vehicles. Al-Dirazi said the attack made him “more determined” to continue. @alashhal @AalduraziMp
Yassir Ali Abdulaziz Nassif
Nassif: “As one of the young people from 1st Northern constituency who constitute the majority of the constituents, in am particularly concerned with their requirements. So my campaign will particularly focus on the youth”. Nassif also wants to focus on unemployment and housing.
He said that the constituency “suffers from clear neglect regarding all services and a lack of attention given to the people of these villages”. @yanaseef
Hussain Mohammed Habib Ali Ismail
Habib stressed his desire to work with “all segments of society to serve the nation and citizens”. His two priority issues are “housing and unemployment, which are of greatest concern to citizens”.
Habbib said he was “78% sure” of winning the contest and enjoyed support from local elites, particularly in his own village of Barbar. He criticized incumbent Ali al-Dirazi’s record in addressing issues like housing and employment, saying that his own proposals would allow him to perform better and provide more tangible results for local people.
Jaffar Ibrahim Yousif al-Asfour
Three of Al-Asfour’s cars were burned outside his property on 24 October in an attempt to intimidate him and his family and force him to withdraw from the contest.
*Fatimah Abdulmahdi Yousif Al Asfour
As a member of the prominent and respected Al Asfour family, the only female candidate in this locality can expect to pick up a proportion of the vote.
Mohammed Mahdi Jassim Shehab
It’s difficult for candidates to come out and promote themselves in these areas, so candidates like Mohammed Mahdi may be struggling to embark on their campaign against a political heavyweight like Ali al-Dirazi.
Mohammed Rabea was not on earlier candidacy lists, so it would appear that he was allowed to stand on appeal. However, he had signaled his intention to stand as early as September, predicting that the constituency changes strengthened his chances.
Areas covered: Markh, Bani Jamra, Diraz
Number of candidates: 3
Front-runners: Jalal Kadhim
Worth watching: Hussain al-Hamar, Fadhil al-Dirazi
Withdrawn candidates: Mahmoud al-Jamri
Likelihood of going to second round: 45%
Housing blocks: 531, 537, 538, 539, 540, 541, 542, 543, 544, 580, 582, 583, 584, 586, 588, 590
Registered voters: 6,970
Will voters defy their Ayatollah in Diraz?
Diraz is the home of Ayatollah Isa Qassim, spiritual leader of Al-Wefaq which is leading the call for a boycott of the parliamentary elections.
It wouldn’t be a surprise if this constituency has one of the lowest turnouts, particularly as the three remaining candidates are relatively low profile figures who may struggle to swing the mood in favour of participation.
Candidates will be targeting the proportion of the electorate who dare to come out and defy this boycott. As a result, candidates themselves are likely to come under pressure. Registered candidate Mahmoud al-Jamri has already withdrawn his candidacy and Hussain al-Hamar’s car was set alight by militants.
In the early phases of this contest Jalal Kadhim was the only figure visibly pursuing his candidacy, with coverage in the media, online activity and posters advocating his candidacy, some of which were vandalized. He is also the only one known to have opened a campaign headquarters to receive members of the public. However, from the second week of November Hussain al-Hamar’s billboards have been up around the constituency.
Jalal Kadhim Hassan Kadhim
Jalal has pledged to focus on providing services and improving roads and infrastructure. However, he also told Al-Ayam newspaper that he had a “vision for youth”. “This vision will focus on developing the capabilities of the youth and enabling them to play more of a role in society, investing their talents and energies in building this nation… Through solving the problem of unemployment, many other problems associated with the youth can be addressed.”
Jalal is also part of the “Economic Coalition” constituting a number of candidates in Northern and Capital Governorates. Jalal has reported attacks through the social media from opposition militants accusing him of being a “traitor” for participating in the elections. His campaign has had more visibility across the media than his rivals. Some of his campaign posters have been vandalized. @JalalKadhim
Hussain Salman Hussain Salman al-Hamar
Al-Hamar told the media he would go ahead with his candidacy despite attacks against candidates in the area. Al-Hamar’s car was torched by militants trying to derail the elections. Al-Hamar said “Freedom of expression belongs to all. Opinions can’t be confiscated due to extremist partisanship or sectarian links”.
Fadhil Jassim Mohammed Jassim al-Dirazi
Fadhil has received little coverage in the media so far, but he comes from an important local family and so may be relying on his connections to gain support.
Areas covered: Northern strip of west coast; Budaya, Haniniyah, Jasra, Hamala, Um Sabiyan, Um Na’san, Jiddah
Number of candidates: 6
Front-runners: Hassan al-Dossary (MP), Hamad al-Dossary, Firas Nouruddin
Worth watching: Adel al-Dossary
Outsiders: Mamdouh Marhoun, Abdulaziz al-Dhawadi
Likelihood of going to second round: 65%
Housing blocks: 550, 552, 553, 555, 557, 559, 561, 565, 569, 587, 581, 585, 589, 591, 1001, 1002, 1003, 1004, 1006, 1009, 1010, 1089, 1095
Registered voters: 6,082
Three Dossary’s contesting Bahrain’s Sunni northern coastline
This area encompasses many of the Sunni/loyalist localities along the north of Bahrain’s west coast, like Budaya, Hamala and Jasra. Incumbent Hassan al-Dossary is the candidate to beat.
Despite being one of the largest Northern constituencies in geographical size, 3rd Northern has only 6,082 registered voters.
In these intimate and traditional communities, the contest is as much about personal and tribal connections as it is about policies, which makes this a more difficult district to predict. In fact one analysis described local elites as perceiving the elections in this district purely as a contest to show which tribe was on top (Al-Watan).
Experts note that Hassan Salim al-Dossary as the sitting MP has lost a lot of popularity because he was perceived not to have supported local interests in recent housing allotments in the Budaya area, which has resulted in the public mood turning against him. This is also likely to be why two other Dossary’s have come out against him.
Pundits predict that the public will be likely to unite behind whoever makes it through to the second round if they are standing against Hassan al-Dossary, although we can assume that Hassan still has something of a support base after his long political career.
Hamad Salim al-Dossary has been campaigning hard through the press and social media. Having been the figure who successfully returned Hassan al-Dossary to Parliament twice by planning his campaign strategy, Hamad deserved following carefully, although it is pointed out as a younger figure that his support base lies primarily in the 25-40 age bracket.
Huge candidacy billboards for Adel Jassim al-Dossary and Firas Nouruddin have been visible at major junctions all the way along this constituency from an early stage in the competition. More recently Hassan and Hamad al-Dossary’s billboards have also started appearing.
Hassan Salim Hassan Salim al-Dossary – Incumbent
Sitting MP Al-Dossary pledged to focus on housing and standards of living, which he said were the issues voters cared about most.
Al-Dossary: “The explosion in housing demands that has expanded to 60,000 applications requires urgent and fundamental treatment”. Al-Dossary first entered Parliament in 2006. Al-Dossary in his previous Parliamentary role was head of the committee responsible for housing issues. Thus, particular local anger has been directed against him for not ensuring that housing allotment was accorded purely based on the order in which applications for housing provision were made.
Hamad Salim Ali Eid al-Dossary
Hamad is campaigning under the slogan “National partnership… national responsibility”, with an emphasis on improving standards of living. He stresses that “the youth is the most important tool for change”, calling for voters to back younger candidates.
Hamad is seen as a particularly strong contender, having twice helped mastermind the successful electoral campaigns of his now-rival Hassan Salim al-Dossary.
Adel Jassim Mohammed Ali al-Dossary
Al-Dossary had originally been flagged to be standing as a National Unity Gathering candidate, but was later removed from the list. Adel has invested heavily in this campaign and was one of the first figures placing huge billboards around the local area. However, at least one pundit described him as being a strong contender, but not a front-runner and more of a figure who could decide the contest, depending on which contender he decided to throw his support behind in the second round.
Firas Samir Abdullah Nouruddin
Firas told Al-Wasat newspaper of his determination to achieve “fundamental change” in economic and cultural issues and “rejecting hatred”, as well as improving standards of education.
Nouruddin has criticized previous attempts to deal with housing, educational and economic issues by Parliament as incoherent responses that failed to take the form of a holist and comprehensive strategy.
Nouruddin is described as having a strong economic background, as well as being intimately informed about the dynamics of the local community. With huge billboards on every street corner, Nouruddin may turn out to be the non-Dossary candidate who many in the area unite behind. @F_Nooruddin
Mamdouh Jaffar Ali Marhoun
Marhoun has pledged to focus on improving wages and standards of living.
Abdulaziz Saleh Ali Saleh al-Dhawadi
So far, little has been heard in the media concerning Al-Dhawadi’s campaign. However, in a contest that focused largely on kinship affiliations, we will have to wait and see what proportion of the district unite behind perceived outsiders like Marhoun and Al-Dhawadi.
Areas covered: Jidhafs, Jabla Habshi, North Sehla, Qadam, Abu-Quwwah
Number of candidates: 5
Front-runners: Huda Radhi, Ghazi Al Rahmah
Worth watching: Hussain Jawad
Outsiders: Nawaf al-Sayed, Mohammed al-Aleywi,
Withdrawn candidates: Yousif Ahmed Abdullah, Abdullah Hamad al-Haddad,Saleh Hassan
Likelihood of going to second round: 60%
Housing blocks: 431, 433, 435, 439, 441, 447, 455, 457, 702, 704, 706, 708, 712, 714, 744
Registered voters: 9,277
No longer the largest constituency
This was previously the largest electoral district in Bahrain (formerly 1st Northern, with 15,500 registered voters in 2006). However, much of the west of that constituency (the Sehla area) has been incorporated into the Capital Governorate, leaving behind a constituency with an average number of voters.
The absence of any strong incumbent or other prominent political figures encouraged a flurry of new faces to enter the contest. The municipal building in Jidhafs was burned to the ground in late October causing around a million dollars’ worth of damage.
Huda Radhi has been pursuing a vigorous campaign and has been receiving regular media coverage, making her a likely front-runner. Her opponents have meanwhile been maintaining a much lower profile, certainly in part due to security concerns.
The one exception is Ghazi Al Rahma who increasingly has been coming out with a very visible and clearly-branded campaign, geared towards younger voter demographics.
Registered candidates Yousif Ahmed Abdullah, Abdullah Hamad al-Haddad and Saleh Hassan announced their withdrawal from the contest, without announcing reasons for this.
*Huda Mansour Mahmoud Radhi
Huda believes that the economy is the most important issue to focus on for solving the challenges which face Bahrain.
Huda’s husband, Hussain al-Muabbir, is contesting the municipal elections. Huda said of the two of them that they are “two sides of the same coin… there needs to be understanding, harmony and coordination between the parliamentary deputy and the council member.”
Huda has accused another female candidate of stealing her election programme and publishing it in the press “word for word”.
Ghazi Faisal Hassan Hussain Al Rahmah
Al Rahmah has strongly criticized previous housing and services legislation which he said discriminated unfairly against many citizens. He and many other candidates have been particularly critical of the regulation that combines the income of husbands and wives to determine housing allocation, and is thus seen to discriminate unfairly.
Al Rahmah has also criticized the provision of Government support, saying that 75% of this went to “foreign hotels and restaurants”. He urged public spending to be better directed for projects that benefit citizens and promote economic growth.
Al Rahmah said his campaign budget was 8,000 BD ($21,000 US). @gazialrahma
Hussain Jawad Ahmed Abdulaziz Yousif al-Balagha
Hussain Jawad is a local Shia cleric. Clerics have generally given less prioritization to engaging the media during this campaign, the Mosque pulpit being an ideal way to engage directly with the local public, even though direct election propaganda has been banned from Mosques. This makes it difficult to predict what the chances of some of these figures really are.
Mohammed Jassim Ahmed al-Aleywi
Nawaf Mohammed Yousef Mohammed al-Sayed
Nawaf al-Sayed’s name is listed as a registered candidate, but beyond that has yet to receive any substantive media coverage about their campaign.
Areas covered: Qadam, Hajar, Abu Saiba, Shakhurah, Muqaba, Diraz, Sar, Markh
Number of candidates: 10
Front-runners: Ali al-Aradi, Jamil al-Rowaei, Ahmed al-Najjar
Worth watching: Isa Taqi, Jamil al-Mahari, Hannan Abdulaziz
Outsiders: Nabil al-Lababidi, Mohammed Mohsin, Fadhil al-Harz, Mohammed Khalil,
Withdrawn candidate: Sadiq Jumah
Likelihood of going to second round: 75%
Housing blocks: 449, 453, 435, 439, 441, 447, 457, 702, 704, 706, 708, 712, 714, 744
Registered voters: 10,388
Ten candidates say “What boycott”?
This is shaping up to be one of the most exciting battles in the top half of the Northern Governorate. In contrast with neighbouring constituencies where election campaigns have been almost invisible, dozens of candidate billboards have been going up every few metres along the main highways traversing this area.
The villages in this district are familiar as rioting hotspots so there is likely to be active opposition to any kind of participation in elections in this area. However, the extensive new housing developments in this area has gone to a cosmopolitan mix of middle-class families who can be expected to turn out and vote if candidates succeed in attracting their attention. The extensive compounds in this area are also popular with expat residents, making this one of Bahrain’s most diverse communities.
Former civil servant Jamil al-Rowaei has been one of the more visible figures in the media discussing his policy initiatives, along with consultant Ali al-Aradi (who some analysts see as the favourite), banker Isa Taqi and left-wing journalist Jamil al-Mahari.
Al-Aradi is winning the battle of the billboards, with huge images of his face at nearly every road junction in this area. Al-Aradi has also been spending money on newspaper adverts. However, Al-Rowaei, Isa Taqi and Ahmed al-Najjar have also been out putting up their images.
Businessman Ahmed al-Najjar, after a slow start, is emerging as a serious and vocal candidate. His campaign HQ opening and his public comments have received substantive coverage in the media.
With so many untested contestants, the election battle may only really get going in the second round when the two strongest candidates get to fight it out directly and have more of a chance to impress what they stand for on the local public.
Ali Abdullah Ali Hussain al-Aradi
Al-Aradi is a consultant in the Bahrain Chamber for Conflict Resolution with a background in law and human rights. He has stressed to work to increase investment in Bahrain and promote the economy, so as to improve standards of living for Bahrainis. He noted the need to hold companies to account which had failed to deliver in full on public sector projects.
Al-Aradi says he has a number of initiatives he plans to pursue in Parliament to reduce the state budget’s dependence on oil revenues. Al-Aradi has called for an “Independent Higher Council for the media” for enforcing standards and upholding the rights of journalists. Al-Aradi has also spoken out on the need to address corruption through legislation to increase oversight of government and administrative activity.
Al-Aradi noted the lack of legislation concerning the various forms of discrimination in Bahraini society, promising to address this if he made it to Parliament.
Analysts have noted Al-Aradi’s strong chances, reflecting that he has a significant amount of relevant experience and comes from an important local family. Al-Watan newspaper praised his “pluralist and balanced statements which avoid extremism and sectarianism, and which have gained him popular acceptance”.
Jamil Hassan Saleh Hassan al-Rowaei
Jamil said that “fighting sectarianism” was his top priority. He told Al-Watan that despite his close ties with political groupings he wanted to contest as an independent in order to “represent all segments of the Bahraini people equally to guarantee the promotion of national unity”.
Jamil cited his years of service in “those Government departments closest to citizens” and his recent Masters in law as among his attributes in an interview with Al-Watan newspaper. He will prioritize housing, infrastructure, inflation and health insurance. Al-Rowaei has also talked about the need for government measures to address the many stalled housing projects.
As well as promoting himself through campaign posters, Al-Rowaei has been active through social media outlets like Twitter, directly engaging with voters. @JAlrowaie
Ahmed Radhi Hassan al-Najjar
Businessman Al-Najjar stressed the importance of “well-qualified” candidates, in order to “turn demands into tangible results on the ground”. Al-Najjar has discussed the importance of better coordination between academic qualifications and the requirements of the Bahraini jobs market, to improve employment prospects and best serve the economy. He is also talking about the need for better facilities for young people, including greater investment in sport.
Al-Najjar opened his elections HQ on 10 November. His campaign slogan is: “Planning, construction, progress”. The media has also covered Al-Najjar’s statements calling for better working conditions in the private sector, where wages have not kept up with those of the public sector.
Isa Yousif Mohammed Taqi Asadallah
Taqi, a prominent banker, has pledged to invest his “years of experience in human capital, in order to enforce measures on banks and companies – particularly foreign-owned – for increasing the proportion of Bahraini employees and making Bahrainis the first and preferred choice for recruitment.”
Taqi added in comments to Al-Ayam newspaper that he would prioritize the upgrading of skills in the private sector and the provision of training for young people. Taqi has also talked about the importance of reducing housing waiting lists and reforming how people were prioritized for housing allocation.
Taqi promises “non-traditional solutions” for addressing the housing issue; commenting that the current system was inefficient and unfair.
Commentators have described Taqi as a “non-divisive figure” who has the support of the local “Ajam” community of Iranian descent. @etaqi01
*Hannan Abdulaziz Habib Abdullah al-Aradi
Lawyer Hanan Abdulaziz said he campaign focused on families and young people, in order to empower them to take a greater role in strengthening Bahrain. She said that if she succeeded in winning her seat this would encourage other women and Bahraini society at large of the important role that women can play in society.
Jamil Mirza Ali Mohammed al-Mahari
Journalist Al-Mahari is said to be associated with the left-wing opposition Progressive League (Al-Minbar al-Taqaddumi). Jamil told Al-Wasat newspaper that he had budgeted 10,000 BD ($27,000) for his campaign.
Jamil’s brother Shakir has applied to be a candidate in the municipal elections
Nabil Ali Mohammed al-Lababidi
Al-Lababidi’s campaign highlights the promotion of national unity and restoring security. In his 2011 election campaign, Al-Lababidi spoke out against “discrimination against men” because of the support Bahraini women candidates received for their candidacy. @NabeelLababidi
Fadhil Abbas Ali al-Shaikh Ahmed al-Harz
Al-Harz is a former Bahraini diplomat who served in Iraq.
Mohammed Mohsin Ali Ahmed
Mohammed Muhsin: “Citizens have a right to get on with their lives and obtain services. We will work to achieve this”. Mohammed said that he respected the right of those who chose to boycott and that his candidacy should not be seen as against the opposition.
Mohammed says he desires to work to achieve people’s right to a better standard of living as well as fighting unemployment. Mohammed has been active in promoting his aims and messages through the social media. @Mohammed_mo7sin
Mohammed Khalil Ibrahim Ali
Mohammed Khalil has not received coverage so far.
Areas covered: Aali
Number of candidates: 8
Front-runners: Mohammed Al Asfour, Mohammed al-Aali, Rua al-Haiki
Worth watching: Majid Saleh
Outsiders: Moayed Neamah, Ali al-Sayegh, Mohammed al-Bahhar, Younis Jassim
Withdrawn candidates: Hamid Fakhro (not formally withdrawn)
Likelihood of going to second round: 65%
Housing blocks: 730, 732, 734, 736, 738, 740, 742
Registered voters: 10,704
Shia elites compete for prominence in Aali
Aali is an archaeologically significant area as the home of thousands of prehistoric burial mounds. The old village of Ali is predominantly Shia. There will be many who choose to boycott, but many of the more-established families are likely to come out in support of local Shia candidates. Much of the newer development in Aali has gone to Sunni families (described by one commentator as “technocrats, liberals and business figures”), leading to a balance between the communities and meaning that boycotters probably will constitute a minority.
The incumbent, who won his seat in the 2011 by-election – Ahmed al-Saati – is a respected figure and the brains behind the new “Al-Watan” political society that aspires to be a moderate and progressive force in Bahraini politics. His sudden announcement half-way through the registration process that he wouldn’t be standing came as a surprise to everyone and leaves this contest wide open. The result was a rush of new candidates declaring their candidacies at the last minute.
A poll commissioned by candidate Rua al-Haiki found that the most prominent issue concerning local constituents was housing (38%), followed by employment opportunities (29%) and improving standards of living (17%), with education and health also featuring.
A significant proportion of registered candidates in this locality have received little coverage in the media at all, and just two weeks before the elections much of this district has seen less of the conspicuous promotional campaigning that has been obvious in neighbouring districts. In an area where family ties are everything, many candidates may be relying on their local connections.
The young businesswoman Rua al-Haiki appears to be the candidate pursuing the most systematic, visible and well-funded campaign, with large adverts in national newspapers, although she is a new face in political circles may struggle to gain grassroots support.
By positioning herself as a business woman and technocrat with practical experience in addressing unemployment, Al-Haiki seems to be targeting both the middle-class “loyalist” communities and disaffected young people who want to see changes that will offer them a better future.
Other candidates from the prominent Aali, Asfour and Jawad families may be relying as much their local connections, as they are on statements of policy.
However, Mohammed Al Asfour has been coming out with sophisticated and carefully thought through policy proposals which have been receiving media coverage; singling him out – alongside the younger and perhaps less-well-connected Rua al-Haiki – as a prominent and competent candidate.
One analysis in the Al-Watan newspaper went as far as characterizing this contest as a battle between the Shia Asfour and Aali families, predicting that the turnout would “exceed all expectations” because these families would try and bring their supporters out in large numbers. The writer commented on the relatively benevolent nature of this contest, given the close ties between many of the candidates.
In the core areas of Aali as of early November, there has been almost no evidence of public promotional activity by candidates. Several candidates, despite having registered their candidacy, have been almost invisible so far in this contest.
Hamid Ali Mohammed Fakhro announced his planned withdrawal from the contest in late October, although his inclusion in later candidacy lists indicates that this withdrawal may not have been formalized.
Mohammed Jaffar Ahmed al-Shaikh Khalaf Al Asfour
Al Asfour said that if elected his programme would focus on economic development, in the context of the Vision 2030 programme for the kingdom of Bahrain. He stressed that parliamentary legislation must be compatible with promoting economic growth and has prioritized the issue of parliamentary oversight of government business.
Al-Asfour has called for a greater share of the state budget to go on education and training and for attention to be given to educational reform.
Al-Asfour said that raising incomes should be a priority for the next Parliament. He referred to several past corruption cases, asking why ill-spent revenues hadn’t been returned to the state budget.
He has also been outspoken in calling for a change in regulations for housing allocation to avoid prejudicing against married couples. @alasform1
*Rua Badr Mubarak Ali Ali al-Haiki
Business consultant Al-Haiki says that one of the key results of the survey she made in the Aali constituency was a growth in support for electing women candidates.
In an interview Al-Ayam, Al-Haiki also talked about a training consultancy initiative she had recently launched for helping increase the skills of long-term unemployed young people. One of her programmes claimed to have absorbed 778 unemployed people into the workforce.
Al-Haiki says she has proposed a housing project designed to serve young people, in parallel with existing projects. She has also called for more transparency in the process for the provision of government housing.
Al-Haiki has also called on the Ministry of Culture to work with local authorities to rescue and restore important archeological burial mounds in the area and compensate locals affected by the process.
Al-Haiki has been increasingly visible in the campaign, being the first candidate observed to publish full page promotional adverts in several Bahraini newspapers and her media adverts have been some of the most prominent out of all Bahraini candidates. She has reportedly spent 65-70,000 BD (around $180,000) on her campaign, which makes her one of the bigger spenders. @Rouaalhayki
Majid Saleh Mahdi Jawad
Saleh said that his candidacy would prioritize “strengthening the sense of national loyalty and social solidarity and the principle of peaceful coexistence between all parts of society”. He also stressed in an interview to Al-Ayam the importance of creating job opportunities for graduates and the importance of recruitment based on merit. Saleh added that he also prioritized parliamentary scrutiny of Government performance.
Mohammed Mohsin Ali al-Aali
Al-Aali hails from a prominent local Shia family, so may gain grassroots support. In 2002 Al-Aali was close to winning the municipal elections against the Al-Wefaq candidate Abdullah al-Aali who went on to become the MP.
Mohammed Ali Ghulam Ali al-Bahhar
Al-Bahhar said he wanted to prioritize restoring national unity between the different sects and components of Bahraini society, as well as improving public services and better integrating citizens in political and social decisions that affected their lives.
Sayed Moayed Neamah Hashim Ridha
Campaign slogan: “You have the right to choose, so think about your decision”.
Ali Yousif Ali Yousif al-Sayegh
Al-Sayegh has so far obtained little media coverage for his campaign. One of his campaign slogans questions why parliamentary deputies expect so much from the electorate, without delivering on what is demanded of them.
Younis Jassim Rabea Jassim Gharib
In a highly competitive area, Younis Gharib has been one of the less visible figures.
Areas covered: Al-Qurayah, Janabiyah, Buri, Hamalah, Dumistan
Number of candidates: 9
Front-runners: Majid al-Majid, Abduljalil al-Aali
Worth watching: Mohammed Bin-Rajab, Ali Makki, Ahmed Hassan
Outsiders: Jamil Abbas, Ali Sakran, Munir Ibrahim, Majid Ibrahim
Withdrawn candidates: Ala al-Wadaei,Jaffar Al Dhaif
Likelihood of going to second round: 60%
Housing blocks: 545, 547, 549, 551, 571, 575, 577, 579, 752, 754, 756, 758, 760, 762, 1012, 1014, 1019, 1012, 1014, 1019, 1022
Registered voters: 10,245
Diverse & difficult contest in 7th Northern
The 7th Northern district is a demographically diverse district, ranging from localities with a largely middle-class loyalist population like Janabiya and Hamala; to areas like Dumistan and Al-Qurrayah which are predominantly Shia and contain elements supportive of the opposition.
However, the Shia demographic shouldn’t be equated with opposition support. Many of the older families like Asfour, Aali and Bin-Rajab are loyalist in orientation and will vote for candidates who are seen to be “one of them”. Ajam communities, of Iranian origin, also tend to stand apart from Al-Wefaq with their own clergy and affiliations.
This is a large and geographically disbursed district featuring a diverse range of communities, making it difficult for candidates to reach out to everyone; hence the confusion of certain candidates who are respectively positioning themselves to gain pro-opposition votes, middle-class votes, or the support of traditional elites.
Pundits also observed the lack of candidates from Buri, the most populous town in the area and formerly the “electoral hub” of the district, with around 2,600 registered voters.
An Al-Watan survey of the views of local constituents found a widespread determine to vote “for the sake of the nation”, but a general disappointment with the past performance of parliamentary representatives and an emphasis on the familiar issues of housing, wage levels, unemployment and services.
The lack of a sitting MP or a major obvious political heavyweight in this constituency has encouraged numerous independent candidates to declare themselves. The same could be said about many of the constituencies running through the centre of Bahrain where boundary changes have left many areas without a standing MP and with political societies rarely fielding candidates.
This campaign takes localization to extremes, with many candidates enjoying passionate supports in their immediate locality, but struggling to establish themselves across the constituency as a whole.
At the beginning of November Ahmed Hassan was the only figure out erecting billboards, particularly around more middle-class areas like Janabiya. However, by the second week of November road junctions were suddenly crowded with posters and billboards for most of these candidates.
One feature of this campaign across all of Bahrain is that many candidates have left it as late as possible to start campaigning in order to save their limited budgets. So at the beginning of November many areas had hardly any elections advertising at all. Then suddenly one candidate with a larger elections budget would come out and erect huge billboards everywhere, and within a couple of days most other candidates would rush to erect their posters.
Veteran contestant Abduljalil al-Aali is worth watching in this contest, as well as the well-connected Mohammed Bin-Rajab.
Cleric Majid al-Majid, a former leading figure from the Shirazi Amal movement will be an interesting candidate to watch. Al-Majid has previously contested the elections. However his movement is considered to be a key segment of the opposition. Some observers have noted cracks appearing in this locality between the Shirazi movement and other segments of the opposition. Therefore, significant votes for Al-Majid will indicate a major breach in the opposition’s boycott.
The presence of candidates from established families like Bin-Rajab, Aali and Dhaif (all three predominantly Shia) will be hoped to attract a share of the votes.
Ala al-Wadaei withdrew his candidacy after his grandfather, a prominent Shia cleric Sayed Jawad al-Wadaei, issued a statement supporting the boycott. Ala said he was withdrawing out of respect for his grandfather, but reiterated that he believed that the boycott was “wrong”. Jaffar Dhaif discretely withdrew in the latter stages of the contest, saying that the contest was “overcrowded”.
The 7th Northern district is turning into a surprisingly vigourous elections contest, which may attract reasonably high turnouts as people come out in support of their local champions, in a contest which may ultimately be about which locality holds pre-eminence in this diverse district.
Majid Ibrahim Hasan Ibrahim al-Majid
Al-Majid is a local Shia cleric. Majid’s candidacy surprised people because he is closely associated with the opposition Shirazi movement and a leading member of the now-dissolved Alal Society. Al-Majid gained 845 votes in 2010, almost exactly a tenth of the score of his Al-Wefaq rival. His campaign was also marred by attacks on his candidacy by militants, who burned his campaign posters and tried to damage his local reputation. Al-Majid is said to be relying this time on his Amal supporters in the Dumistan locality.
Al-Majid: “We look at participation in elections as a matter of principle. We ideologically believed in this since the first rounds of elections. We participated and we will participate now and in the future, because participation is how nations are built”.
Mohammed Saeed Jaffar Hasan Abdulrasoul Bin-Rajab
Mohammed is son of the former Governor of the Northern Governorate and his brother is contesting to be a municipal councilor. He said he would “fight against the corruption which is running rampant in the country”. His slogan is: “Justice… dignity… the future”.
The three components of his election programme are: Cementing national unity; improving administrative oversight in order to combat corruption; and improving standards of living.
Ahmed Hassan Yousif Hassan Al Mahmoud
Hassan is reported to be affiliated with Economic Coalition, which has a small number of associates contesting the elections. At the beginning of November Ahmed was the first to be putting up large billboards at major junctions around this constituency.
Ahmed’s campaign material talks about improving Bahrain’s coastline and other areas of investment that will open Bahrain up to tourism and foreign business.
Abduljalil Ibrahim Ali Abdullah al-Aali
Al-Aali has been campaigning jointly with municipal candidate for the same district, Salman Khalaf. They have described their alliance as a “coalition for better achievement”. Large billboards with the two figures together have been going up around the district. Al-Aali said that the aim of this coalition was to “reassure voters that their concerns will be prioritized in our elections campaign”. @salmankhalafbh
Al-Aali performed well in the 2011 by-election but failed to win the seat in 5th Northern.
Ali Ahmed Mohammed Makki
Makki is known by the nick name “Abu-Gharib”. He said: “People are tired of politics and want to get on with their lives… how long will people remain out in the streets? … There must be positive interaction between all parties in order to solve the problems which Bahraini citizens suffer from.” Makki noted that his priorities were housing and public services.
Jamil Abbas Hassan Makki Yousif
Abbas told journalists that this was his first attempt at a candidacy and he was unsure of his chances, but cited his “energy and abilities” as his primary motivation.
Ali Hassan Hassan Ali Hassan Ali al-Sakran
Campaign slogan: “Together towards a better future”.
Munir Ibrahim Ahmed Hassan Ahmed Sorrour
Majid Ibrahim Saleh Attiyah Adib
Majid has obtained little media coverage so far, but from the second week of November, his posters started appearing in the area.
Areas covered: Hamad Town
Number of candidates: 5
Front-runners: Adel al-Dhawadi (Minbar)
Worth watching: Isa Turki, Jassim Hijris
Outsiders: Maryam al-Mahrous, Bader al-Dossary
Likelihood of going to second round: 70%
Housing blocks: 1206, 1204, 1203, 1016
Registered voters: 8,521
Al-Minbar seeks a foothold in Hamad Town
Hamad Town is a sprawling working-class region of Bahrain that expanded significantly over recent decades. The mixed population and changes to constituency boundaries make election results difficult to predict. People will be looking for deputies who can make credible promises for improving services, housing provision and jobs. Islamic candidates have tended to perform well.
Tents for promoting the candidacy of Isa Turki were burned on 5 November. This seems to have occurred in the context of a series of attacks against candidates by militants seeking to disrupt the contest.
Adel al-Dhawadi from Al-Minbar will be hoping that his political affiliations make him the front-runner, and so far his rivals have done little to prove this wrong. Al-Minbar’s support has helped make him the most visible candidate in this race and Al-Dhawadi was the first to open his headquarters.
However, Minbar’s Muslim Brotherhood affiliations, which once were a bonus, have become slightly more problematic in the current regional geo-political situation, making constituents potentially more hesitant in showing unconditional support.
Adel Sharidah Yousif al-Dhawadi – Minbar
Al-Dhawadi noted an accumulated 25 years of political experience. He is a political advisor for Al-Minbar Society. He says the boundary changes encouraged him to participate, believing this would increase his chances.
Isa Ahmed Mustafa Turki
Al-Turki told Al-Watan newspaper that the high number of candidates in the 2014 elections was an indication of the “climate of democracy in Bahrain based on respect for individual freedoms along with the increasing momentum of political progress”. He criticized the failure of political societies for failing to agree on unified lists, saying that this was “evidence that their approach was based on blind loyalty, not on competence or skills”. @isa_turki
Jassim Mohammed Yousif Hijris
Hijris will be competing for the third time and said that he would be focusing on public services. He said that he wanted to combat unemployment, particularly amongst new graduates.
“This constituency cannot be considered the property of any particular grouping whatever certain deluded people may believe. This constituency remains open to competition, particularly after the border changes;” Hijris told Al-Ayam.
*Maryam Jamil Mahdi al-Mahrous
Maryam al-Mahrous’s campaign slogan is: “Hand in hand for a better future”.
Bader Hamad Ali al-Dossary
Areas covered: Hamad Town
Number of candidates: 9
Front-runners: Ahmed Ali Arad (NUG); Abdulhamid al-Najjar
Worth watching: Yousif Zainal, Mohammed Baqer, Ahmed al-Qahiri
Outsiders: Hassan al-Alawi, Abdullah Tarrar, Ahmed Yousif, Mahmoud Abdulrahman
Likelihood of going to second round: 70%
Housing blocks: 1210, 1209, 1207, 1205
Registered voters: 12,315
NUG tries to gain ground on independent rivals
Hamad Town is a demographically mixed conurbation. The majority of voters in the 9th District can be expected to back a Sunni loyalist candidate. However, the diversity of the candidates reflects the presence of Bahrani and Ajam Shia communities, who could influence the vote if they turned out in large numbers.
Voters in this section of Hamad Town have a choice between a range of figures. The National Unity Gathering will be hoping that 9th Northern becomes one of their parliamentary seats, but they will have to fight off a string of rival independent figures, such as Abdulhamid al-Najjar and Yousif Zainal.
The NUG’s Ahmed Arad has been one of the first to open his local headquarters and the NUG seem to be investing heavily in supporting his campaign, along with their other candidates.
With so many contestants in this race, the key question is; which two will gain sufficient votes to squeeze through into the second round.
Ahmed Ali Arad – NUG
Arad, who is competing as part of the National Unity Gathering list, noted that the former Parliament had been “empty of legal experts”, citing his own experience in this field. His campaign slogans emphasize “fair wages”.
Abdulhamid Abdulhussain Ahmed al-Najjar
Al-Najjar said he had received offers from several political societies to participate on their lists, but declined, “fearing that this would diminish my chances”.
Abdulhamid al-Najjar at an early stage said he had centred his campaign around the theme of fighting “moral corruption”. However, he has since been vocal about the need to improve the performance of local authorities and better allocation of public funds.
In the 2011 by-election Al-Asalah’s Khalid al-Maloud narrowly won in the second round against Al-Najjar, proving what a strong contender Al-Najjar is. @aaa_alnajar
Yousif Zainulabidin Mohammed Zainal
Zainal, an MP in the 2002 Parliament, emphasized his commitment to supporting the King’s reform programme. He said that “political development” came first, followed by “economic development”.
He said that his relationship with local constituents remained strong. Zainal criticized his opponents for lacking the necessary skills and experience for Parliament. Zainal was defeated in 2006 with 850 votes (his opponent got 4874) and he came third in 2010 with 1120 votes, behind Mohammed al-Ammadi and Jamal Dawoud.
Zainal estimated that for a successful campaign candidates required a budget of around 20-30,000 BD (approx. $50-80,000)
Shaikh Mohammed Baqer Yousif Ahmed
Yousif is a local Shia preacher, standing as an independent.
Ahmed Khalil Ahmed al-Qahiri
Al-Qahiri is a prominent lawyer, standing as an independent.
Hassan Mohammed Tayyeb al-Alawi
Mahmoud Abdulrahman Abdullah Ahmed
Abdullah Tarrar Sultan Ali
Ahmed Yousif Mohammed Hussain
Ahmed Yousif hasn’t been observed to gain and media coverage so far.
Areas covered: Hamad Town
Number of candidates: 7
Front-runners: Khalid al-Maloud (MP Asalah) Mohammed al-Ammadi (MP Minbar), Sima al-Lengawi (NUG)
Outsiders: Saad Sultan, Abdulqadir Abduljalil, Hisham Rabeah, Khalid al-Zubari
Likelihood of going to second round: 85%
Housing blocks: 1218, 1214, 1212, 1208
Registered voters: 10,552
Three Sunni societies fighting to capture 10th Northern
The 10th Northern constituency is a long, narrow strip running north to south through densely-populated Hamad Town. Working-class families experiencing growing costs of living and struggling with issues of housing and service provision will be looking for candidates who can deliver on their promises.
In the 10th Northern district boundary changes have pitted two Sunni Islamist sitting MPs against each other; Khalid al-Maloud from Al-Asalah will be against Mohammed al-Ammadi, along with the prominent female candidate, Sima al-Lengawi, from the National Unity Gathering.
There was clearly a desire to avoid these two Minbar and Asalah heavyweights going head-to-head; either through a Minbar-Asalah electoral alliance; or through one of these figures changing his address following the boundary changes. However, their failure to avoid a confrontation will make this constituency a flashpoint in the contest between Sunni Islamist groupings.
The NUG’s seriousness in taking on these two rival societies is indicated by Sima al-Lengawi being one of the first to open her local headquarters and establishing herself with a high-profile campaign that the NUG have been vocal in backing.
Much of the coverage is likely to be about the battle between these three political societies, but some analysts predict that independents are in with a chance, due to widespread dissatisfaction with the performance of established political societies in previous parliaments.
Khalid Jassim Ali al-Maloud – Asalah incumbent
Khalid gained his seat in 2011 when the sitting Al-Wefaq MP walked out of Parliament. In the 2011 by-election Al-Asalah member, Al-Maloud narrowly won in the second round against Abdulhamid al-Najjar, who is now contesting in the 9th Northern District.
Al-Maloud has called on the Housing Ministry to take steps to disburse 110 newly-built homes in Hamad Town to local citizens. He said that Hamad Town had been “forgotten” when it came to housing and provision of services.
Al-Maloud has called for greater attention by the authorities to social conditions in Hamad Town, pointing to the poor conditions of streets, houses and services in many areas. He has also spoken out about accelerating projects for improving Hamad Town services, as promised by the Prime Minister
Mohammed Ismail Abbas Ahmed al-Ammadi – Minbar Incumbent
Al-Ammadi, a leading figure in the pro-Muslim Brotherhood Al-Minbar al-Islami has said that his society’s campaign will focus on how public funds are spent.
Al-Ammadi stressed that Al-Minbar had a unified campaign which would focus on the economy, infrastructure and improving standards of living. He stressed that in his own constituency he wanted to address the issue of service provision, particularly improving access to local health centres and power supply.
Al-Ammadi said that a major reason for youths being involved in acts of vandalism and militancy was a lack of facilities. He called for investment in activities for young people in Hamad Town.
*Sima Ahmed Ibrahim Mohammed al-Lengawi – NUG
Al-Lengawi, a member of the National Unity Gathering, noted that 10th Southern district would be one to watch particularly with candidates from three competing societies associated with the Al-Fateh Coalition. Regarding her Asalah and Minbar opponents, she said that voters had come to reject “religious societies”, adding that “the coming assembly is in dire need of diversity and specialists”.
Al-Lengawi has said that she wants to focus on economic issues, particularly revitalizing the economy and promoting Bahrain abroad. However, she also cited the youth, housing and services as key issues.
Sima has accused members of the Al-Asalah elections team of “verbal abuse and defamation”. She said that in a public meeting to discuss her elections platform, an Asalah representative told attendees that they should not vote for a woman. She strongly condemned such comments which she said did not just target her, but “all Bahraini women”.
Sima lost narrowly to Mohammed Buqais in the 2011 by-election, with Sima gaining an impressive 2092 votes in the first round and 2,424 in the second – Buqais achieved 2999 votes in the second stage.
Al-Lengawi: “No-one can today complain that the Parliament is weak. The Parliament is elected and those who select the representatives in this Parliament are the people. Therefore, the weakness or strength of this Parliament is based on the choices of the electorate for the most suitable candidate”. @SeemaAlLangawi
Saad Sultan Ali Surrur
Saad: “Democracy is the agent of progress and civilization for peoples and nations… Parliamentary participation is a legal and moral responsibility from the deputy on behalf of the electorate”.
Sayed Abdulqadir Mohammed Muhiuddin Abduljalil
Mohammed said that he wanted to improve the quality of life of citizens through increasing wages in both the public and private sector. He told Al-Ayam newspaper: “One of the top priorities of my election campaign is eliminating unemployment through new mechanisms” enabling Bahrainis to improve their levels of skills and qualifications.
On 5 November Abdulqadir’s tent HQ was burnt down.
Hisham Ali Mohammed Rabeah
Khalid Saad Isa Ibrahim al-Zubari
Al-Zubari has yet to establish his campaign platform with the media, in order to make headway against several strong frontrunners in this campaign.
Areas covered: Hamad Town, Dar Kulayb
Number of candidates: 5
Front-runners: Mohammed Buqais (MP), Jamal Dawoud
Worth watching: Jaffar al-Hamiri, Thamir al-Qaran
Outsiders: Ali al-Fadhli
Likelihood of going to second round: 60%
Housing blocks: 1216, 1215, 1213, 1211, 1046
Registered voters: 12,341
Independent candidates campaign to bring down Buqais
The Hamad Town constituencies have relatively high numbers of registered voters and 11th Northern is demographically the second largest constituency in Bahrain in terms of registered voters. The inclusion of the Shia-majority Dar Kulayb locality could have allowed the opposition to have commanded this area if they had chosen to contest.
In this southern end of Hamad Town with a diverse demographic, the incumbent MP, Mohammed Buqais – who won his seat from Al-Wefaq in the 2011 by-election – is facing-off against three independent figures.
Both Buqais and Jamal Dawoud proved in the 2011 vote that they could bring out significant numbers of supporters, so these would be the two to watch.
The opening of Buqais’s electoral HQ on 6 November was covered by all the newspapers and was also highlighted in an advert in the pro-opposition newspaper Al-Wasat, making him one of the first Bahrain elections candidates to stage such a well-promoted campaign opening event.
Mohammed Salim Jassim Buqais – Incumbent
Cleric Buqais gained his seat in 2011 when the sitting Al-Wefaq MP walked out of Parliament.
Buqais has adopted the slogan “hand in hand, we’ll finish what we started”. Buqais is prioritizing housing, education and public services. He stressed the need for more public hospitals across Bahrain. Buqais has been promoting his parliamentary activities, highlighting proposals he put forward over the past three years on housing and services.
Jamal Dawoud Salman Ahmed
Dawoud told Al-Watan: “It was a particular segment of Bahraini society that made it into the previous Parliament. Society must alter its thinking in order to bring in new faces to bring about change”.
Jamal denied media reports that he had received support from the Salafist Al-Asalah in the previous round of elections. However, he refused to speculate about whether he would work with any specific political grouping if he won the seat. Dawoud came second in 2006 with 2841 votes and gained 2283 votes in 2010, but was comfortably beaten by Mohammed al-Ammadi.
Jaffar Abdullah Medan al-Aswad al-Hamiri
Al-Hamiri wants to focus on “education, housing, pensioners and women”. This his second attempt to win a seat. Jaffar has reported being physically threatened by an “unnamed group” who demanded that he withdraw from the contest. His house in Dar Kulayb has reportedly been attacked.
Al-Hamiri achieved 54 votes in 2010. His Al-Wefaq rival gained 5,797 votes!
Ali Salim Abdullah al-Fadhli
Al-Fadhil, participating for the first time, said that his vision for “content citizens” focused on three areas: “The nation, the citizen and women”. He wanted to prioritize housing, education, increasing wages and the role of women.
Thamir was not on earlier lists as a registered candidate and so apparently his candidacy was accepted on appeal.
Al-Qaran’s campaign prioritizes “education, health and living conditions for citizens and young people”.
Areas covered: Dumistan, Luzi, Karzakan, Malikiyah, Sadad, Shahrakan, Safariyah
Number of candidates: 6
Front-runners: Khalid Abdulaal (MP), Ali Fardan
Worth watching: Ali Baqer, Jamila al-Sammak
Outsiders: Abdulrazzaq Fardan, Ammad al-Sayed
Withdrawn candidates: Yaqoub Yousif
Likelihood of going to second round: 70%
Housing blocks: 1017, 1018, 1020, 1025, 1026, 1027, 1028, 1032, 1033, 1034, 1037, 1038, 1041, 1042, 1044
Registered voters: 11,323
An unclear contest on Bahrain’s west coast
Many localities in this district half-way down Bahrain’s west coast have seen sporadic rioting over the last three years, so certain elements will be supporting the boycott. Visitors to the area in the second week of November noted the lack of elections-related activity and the absence of promotional billboards, except on the main road entering Dumistan.
However, the population in this district is diverse, so incumbent Khalid Abdulaal will be trying to get his supporters out in substantial numbers.
Relative to nearby constituencies, this has been a lower-key contest so far. Therefore it is difficult to get a sense as to which candidates pose the greatest threat to MP Khalid Abdulall.
Abdulaal only narrowly won his seat in 2011 with 51% of the vote in the second round against Ali Fardan. Fardan will be hoping for greater success in this rematch. Ali Baqer has also attracted a lot of interest for a campaign he is running primarily from his Youtube channel “Voice of the countryside” (sawt al-reef).
Commentators have predicted that it will be unlikely that Abdulaal can win this contest outright in the first round, particularly as it took him a second round contest to beat Ali Fardan in the last elections.
Registered candidate Yaqoub Yousif has withdrawn.
Khalid Abdulali Mohammed Abdulaal – Incumbent
Khalid gained his seat in 2011 when the sitting Al-Wefaq MP walked out of Parliament. So far Abdulaal has said little through the media about his policy positions or vision for the new Parliament, beyond a few generalities. @MPKabdulaal
Ali Fardan Mohammed Fardan
Ali Fardan lost to Abdulaal in 2011, gaining 319 votes to Abdulaal’s 335. Ali Fardan also failed to win a seat in the 2010 municipal elections. Fardan in his public statements has talked somewhat vaguely about reform and social justice.
*Dr. Jamila Mansour Jassim al-Sammak
Dr. Jamila al-Sammak was an administrative manager for government hospitals. She is now the deputy head of a university and active in civil society and a regular attendee of international conferences.
Al-Sammak has stated her determination to promote national unity and banish “marginalization, the politics of incitement and the spreading of hatred”.
Jamila said she wanted to address institutional corruption and improve standards of living.
Jamila singled out the education issue as particularly important, saying she wanted to promote skilled Bahrainis into educational positions. Jamila stood in a Capital seat in 2006 and gained just 127 votes.
Ali Baqer Ali Mohammed
Baqer told Al-Watan that he believes the priority issues to be “health, jobs, housing and education”. He has called for improved sports and social facilities for young people.
Out of concerns for elections security Ali Baqer is planning to conduct much of his campaign through a Youtube channel he has set up.
Abdulrazzaq Fardan Ali Fardan
Abdulrazzaq, standing as an independent, says that his priorities are improving standards of living and improving conditions for pensioners. He says his slogan “you first” is centred on increasing the dignity of each individual. @vote4fardan
Ammad al-Sayed Abdulrizaq Abdullah Ahmed
Ammad al-Sayed has also so far largely stayed out of the public eye during this campaign.