Bahrain Sunni Islamists hit as woman makes history in polls

Last Updated: Sunday, October 31, 2010 - 16:28

Manama: Rival Sunni Islamist groups in
Bahrain lost almost half their seats in a parliamentary
election run-off, which also saw a woman making history by
winning a municipal seat.

The National Islamic Forum (NIF), the local arm of the
Muslim Brotherhood organisation, regained three out of the
seven seats it held in the outgoing parliament, according to
results from Saturday`s vote released overnight.

Manama: Rival Sunni Islamist groups in
Bahrain lost almost half their seats in a parliamentary
election run-off, which also saw a woman making history by
winning a municipal seat.

The National Islamic Forum (NIF), the local arm of the
Muslim Brotherhood organisation, regained three out of the
seven seats it held in the outgoing parliament, according to
results from Saturday`s vote released overnight.

Bahrain`s main Shiite opposition group, the Islamic
National Accord Association, had already secured all 18 seats
it contested in the 40-member parliament on October 23,
becoming the lower house`s largest single bloc.

Two candidates from the National Democratic Action
Association, an alliance of pan-Arab nationalists and leftists
that failed to win seats in 2006, also lost in the second
round.

Meanwhile, Fatima Salman became the first woman to win
a contested seat in Bahraini elections after grabbing a place
in the municipal council of Muharraq constituency, east of
Manama.

Eight women figured among the 127 candidates running
in the first round, with only one of them securing a seat,
although she was unopposed.

Some 71,000 voters cast their ballots on Saturday in
the parliamentary vote, while 125,000 voted in the municipal
elections, Justice Minister Sheikh Khaled bin Ali al-Khalifa,
head of the electoral commission said late Saturday.

The minister had said after the first round that the
turnout represented at least 67 per cent of eligible voters,
compared with 72 per cent in 2006 and 53.4 per cent in 2002.

In addition to the parliament, the king appoints the
members of the 40-strong consultative council, which has the
authority to overrule parliament decisions.

PTI



First Published: Sunday, October 31, 2010 - 16:28

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