Gulf European Centre for Human Rights
GECHR welcomes the election and condemns groups who claim the boycott by intimidating the citizens
24th November 2018
Today Saturday, 24th November 2018, the parliamentary and municipal elections in Bahrain began, where more than 500 candidates competing to win 40 seats in the House of Representatives, which forms with the Shura Council legislative authority in the country.
The Election started at 8 am Bahrain local time for the electing of MPs to the Bahraini Parliament and about 231 observers from mainly civil society organisations are monitoring the parliamentary and municipal elections in Bahrain.
Faisal Fulad, director of the Bahrain Human Rights Watch Society and executive director of Election Monitoring Centre, said that the parliamentary and municipal elections in its fifth session represent a new step on the path of political and democratic reform within the framework of the comprehensive reform project in the Kingdom of Bahrain. Citizens, through their constitutional and natural right, will choose individuals to represent them in parliament. Therefore, Fulad with other human rights and civil society figures are monitoring the election to provide a suitable environment for participants. The Election Monitoring Centre has provided support for citizens facing threats from parties and groups aimed at sabotaging the elections for the interests of regional states such as Iran.
The Gulf European Centre for Human Rights has realised that these groups threaten citizens not to participate in the election, and choose Lebanon, Iraq and Iran as their residence; and use the social media and Iranian-backed media to call for boycotting the election by threatening Bahraini citizens.
According to international law, these groups are not entitled to threaten citizens not to participate in elections because this is a constitutional and natural right of citizens. Iran, Iraq and Lebanon are not entitled to provide extremism and intolerance to these parties because they are contrary to international law.
GECHR welcomes and supports the right of citizens to participate in the election because the election is a fundamental part of the democracy in each country, but strongly condemns the policy of the opposition groups associated with Iran by threatening the citizens through social media in order to force citizens not to participate in the election. These groups must respect the sovereignty of the Kingdom of Bahrain and respect the will of the citizens who want change for the better position in Bahrain. The Centre also condemns the Iranian, Iraqi authorities, as well as Hezbollah in Lebanon for providing radical parts to these bodies. Hence GECHR calls upon on the international community to condemn Iran and these extremists because their continuation of this approach will oppose international law and human rights.