Election Update

Saturday’s elections here passed with little trouble. Although there was a very obvious police presence, riot protected 4x4s parked, lights flashing on many roadsides on both Friday and Saturday. King Hamad has thanked the Bahraini’s for their “national enthusiasm” and “discipline”.

The results are all over today’s English-language paper the Gulf Daily News – most of the local news articles are related to the election and its outcomes. Not every candidate received a clear 50% of the vote so there will be a second round next weekend in some constituencies. Nine parliamentary seats and 17 municipal ones remain up for grabs.

There will definitely be one female MP Latifa Al Gaoud as she was unopposed in her bid to retain her existing seat but with at least one woman candidate in the second round there could be a historic second female MP after next weeks votes are counted.

On turn out – it is reckoned that 67% of the electorate voted, only slightly higher that the UK 2010 election turnout of 65%. And the posters adn billboards have to be removed within two weeks otherwise the candidate will risk a fine… not certain whether the penalty is 100BHD total (about £180) or 100BHD per poster.