By Courtney Trenwith
Expats who own property in some areas of Bahrain & GCC citizens will be allowed to vote in upcoming municipality elections
Bahrain is encouraging foreign property owners and any
GCC nationals living in the kingdom to participate in upcoming municipality
Gulf states rarely give non-citizens the right to vote
but Bahrain’s Legislation and Legal Opinion Commission president Abdulla Hassan
Al Buainain said property owners should have a say in who governs their local
area, although the right to vote has not been extended to national parliamentary
elections held on the same day.
“Expats who own property in Bahrain at the time of the
election on November 22 have the right to vote,” Al Buainain told Gulf Daily
“They should vote because the municipal council provides
services to both citizens and residents.
“It's important for expats to receive these services from
their representative in the council, so they should vote who they want in
However, it is not expected many expats will qualify to
participate in the municipality elections after a decision to replace the
Manama Municipal Council with the Capital Trustees, a body that will be
appointed by the kingdom’s rulers and not by a vote.
Property owned by expats are mostly located in Manama's
central areas of Amwaj, Riffa Views, Durrat Al Bahrain and Marina West, Al
Buainain said. However, there were some that would qualify to vote in the
Juffair and Seef areas.
“Those in the Capital Governorate have no role to play as
there is no longer a municipal council,” Al Buainain said.
“However, those who are in the Capital Governorate still
have their rights protected by the appointed council.
“They will still be able to put forward their complaints,
just to the appointed council instead of an elected representative.”
Expats living in Bahrain for the last 5 or more years should be given the right to cast their votes.