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Sun 25 Nov 2018 08:56 AM

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Record turnout in Bahrain parliamentary elections

The 2018 parliamentary elections have also seen a record number of female candidates

Record turnout in Bahrain parliamentary elections
Bahraini voters queue up at a polling station in the Bahraini city of Al-Muharraq, north of Manama on November 24, 2018, as they wait to cast their vote in the parliamentary election.

Voter turnout in Bahrain’s parliamentary elections reached a record high of 67 percent, according to preliminary statistics released by the Bahrain News Agency.

In the kingdom’s last elections in 2014, voter turnout reached 53 percent.

“The increased turnout builds on the success of the 2014 elections, and ensures a clear mandate for a parliament representing the diverse range of views in Bahraini society,” said Bahraini minister of justice, Islamic Affairs and endowments Sheikh Khalid bin Ali Al-Khalifa.

Additionally, the 2018 elections have also seen a record number of female candidates, with 39 women standing for election in the country’s house of representatives in addition to another eight vying for municipal council seats.

Sheikh Khalid added that the poll numbers are a “rejection” of attempts to detail the electoral process.

This year, the country’s two main opposition groups, Al-Wefaq and Waad were barred from fielding candidates, prompting calls for a boycott.

Last week, Bahrain’s public prosecution announced that five individuals were detained and charged for obstructing the electoral process ahead of voting.

Muhanna al-Shayji, head of Bahrain's electoral crimes unit, said one of the suspects was detained after calling on Twitter for a boycott of the November 24 elections, according to a statement released by the prosecution.

A second man was arrested for posting "fake news on the behaviour of one of the candidates" on social media, and the other three were detained for destroying advertisements of candidates, the statement said.

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