Preparations for 2010 Bahrain parliamentary elections in full swing.
Preparations for 2010 Bahrain parliamentary elections in full swing.
Thursday, October 8,2009 00:00

For the third time since the establishing of parliament in Bahrain in 2001, Al Asalah will be contesting elections as a part of a political, economic and social reform programme. Although elections are more than a year away preparations are been made for the apparently hotly contested seats in parliament.

The Al Asalah bloc, which is the political wing of the Islamic Education Society, is allied with three other independent MPs and is one of the two key Sunni blocs in parliament. The other is the seven-member bloc of Al Menbar National Islamic Society, the political wing of the Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated Al Eslah Society.

The issues raised by Al Asalah bloc members and their alliance  include a push for a ban of alcohol sales during Ramadan, allowing veiled women to drive, opposing concerts and introducing legislation against sorcery and fortune telling.

Despite their hard-line ideas they have been labeled "pro-government" because of its participation in the 2002 election and continued support, alongside Al Menbar, for some government legislation since then.
 “We are willing to co-operate with all the political players who subscribe to the fundamentals of our beliefs,"Mr Al-Buainain is the parliament’s first deputy speaker. But we cannot co-operate with those who ideologically differ with us".
The party has pushed through a more comprehensive social security law, several laws to raise public sector wages, provided financial assistance to citizens and secured additional government-supported housing, all of which could come into play in next year’s elections.
Mr Al-Buainain was confident that these accomplishments would benefit their campaign but claimed that the overall result depended on the public when they go to the ballot boxes in 2010.