Bahrain is witnessing a renewed stage of its democratic life as doors have closed for candidacy in the 2018 parliamentary and municipal elections set to be held on November 24. This year’s elections is one to observed closely as the country’s priorities have shifted during the past four years and with many political societies being completely absent, this has opened doors to more independents and youth to explore their chances of walking into the 2018 parliament far away from sectarian politics and boycotts. Citizens for Bahrain will be looking closely at the 2018 parliamentary elections and will provide weekly updates on the election process.
Below is a list of facts about the 2018 parliamentary elections that reflect how the upcoming elections would be different than past elections:
- 42 women have registered as candidates.
- 12 MPs of the 2014 parliament are not joining the elections. The list includes Parliament Speaker Ahmed Al Mulla and his two deputies Ali Al Aradi and Al Asalah Society’s Abdulhalim Murad.
- Two of the three 2014 women MPs, Dr. Jameela Al Sammak and Fatima Al Asfoor will not be running for the 2018 elections.
- The turnover of candidates is 56% more than the 2014 elections.
- 15 current municipal council members have joined the parliamentary race.
- The highest number of candidates per constituency is 17 in the Northern governorate’s 4th constituency. Ghazi Al Rahma is the constituency’s current MP.
- There are 79 new candidates in the Southern governorate with no former experience in running for elections and they comprise the majority.
- Majority of the candidates in the Southern governorate are men.
- Candidates in 70% of the Southern governorate’s constituencies are youth.
- 30 candidates have appealed to the court for the rejection of their candidacy.
- The voters lists will be handed over to the candidates on November 7.
- The initial total number of candidates in each governorate are as follows:
(Numbers may change when the final lists are announced, as some candidates have been rejected and they have appealed to the court)
- Capital governorate – 73 candidates
- Muharraq governorate – 58 candidates
- Southern governorate – 96 candidates
- Northern governorate – 107 candidates