Election In Bahrain: One Ticket For Two Islamist Candidates

111 Bahraini candidates including 11 women have submitted their applications to stand for the upcoming parliamentary election in Bahrain. Centers accepting candidates’s requests to run for the elections opened on Saturday October 14,2006, and will remain opened for three days. On the other hand, candidacy for municipal election will begin on Friday and continues until October 24th.

 Two Islamic societies, The Asala Salafi Group and the National Islamic Forum ( Muslim Brotherhood) hammered out an alliance to stand for the election on the same ticket in the coming parliamentary election.

In an exclusive statement to Ikhwanweb, Chairman of the National Islamic Forum Dr. Salah Ali said that the two societies agreed on a memo of understanding which embraces a set of principles and constants, foremost among which is continued coordination and cooperation among candidates from the two societies as regards the electioneering mechanisms in both elections.

Mr. Ali also added that among the main principles and constants of the memo of understanding is to strengthen the Islamists’ position by electing the most capable candidates who can help the alliance’s agenda materialize.

He stressed that this agenda gives a priority to openness to society through an inclusive Islamic discourse which takes into consideration the developments and variances of the coming stage in a way that secures national unity and coherence of the society. On how far the cooperation between the two societies could reach, Mr. Ali said that utmost efforts will be exerted to reach mechanisms through which the two groups secure high degree of transparency and credibility in handling all issues that could stand in the way of the two societies, stressing that leaders of both societies will keep into mind observing constants and moral criteria in election campaigns especially in the consistencies with heated electoral competition .

To ensure that the principles and rules in the memo of understanding materialize and to preclude any potential violations,  Ali said a high level committee will be formed from the two sides to handle any developments and lay down solutions to the outstanding or abrupt issues .

He also pointed out that a joint press conference will be held where reporters can ask both chairmen of the two societies on the nature of the new alliance. On whether the alliance could continue even after the election , Mr. Ali said that “ each block has its own entity but the alliance is aimed mainly to prevent the scattering of votes, as well as complying with the sharia principles which enjoin unity and cooperation ”, he said, hoping that the alliance will be a herald for more future cooperation in the parliamentary action.

In the same context, Dr. Ali hailed the decision taken by Bahraini King Hamad Bin Isa Al Khalifa transferring the Election and Fatwa Council to the Legal Affairs Administration to be independent from all state establishments. He expounded that this step is unprecedented in the political life in Bahrain kingdom, nay, in many world states, saying that it secures more transparency and fairness of election and establishes more trust in all the phases of the electoral process.

 It is noted that the two societies have identified  their candidates, 14 in number, as well as the constituencies, with seven candidates from the National Islamic Forum and five from the Asala Salafi Society, while there are other two whose candidacy status will be determined soon.

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Election In Bahrain: One Ticket For Two Islamist Candidates
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