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Polls boycott calls go unheeded.

Opposition calls for polls boycott ignored in Bahrain

MANAMA, November 30, 2014

Many voters living in areas considered opposition strongholds in Bahrain ignored boycott calls again as they cast their ballots in the second round of polls yesterday (November 29), a report said.

They headed to 12 polling stations located in the Northern Governorate and 13 general polling stations to vote for 11 MPs and nine municipal councillors who were in the run-offs, despite rioters blocking roads with burning tyres and threatening residents, reported the Gulf Daily News (GDN), our sister publication.

Ali Al Showaikh earlier won a municipal council seat unopposed in constituency one, while Abdullah Al Dossary was elected last Saturday in constituency three and Bodoor Bin Rajab in constituency seven. Jamal Dawood Ahmed was also elected MP in constituency 11.

'I am here with my family '“ my two daughters and my son '“ to cast our votes for a second time,' said Bahraini Salman Ali.

'We are not afraid to come and those who do not vote will not benefit. Bahrainis are stronger together and we should unite because the closer we are the more powerful we are. We don't care about the boycott calls because this will get our country nowhere, and in fact it will make us worse.'

Bahraini fisherman Hussain Isa, who cast his ballot at Jaber Bin Hayan Primary School for Boys in Duraz, said he missed the first round of elections because he was out at sea.

'People who boycott the elections are not smart because they will not get anything out of it,' he told the GDN.

'I never boycotted the elections and never will, but the question remains what has the parliament done for me?

'I want parliament to make major improvements to the Housing Ministry because it is not fair that I have to wait 17 years to get a government house. I have been voting for eight years and helping my country, but did not see any major changes. I am hoping this will change and I will get a house.'

Judge Nabeel Al Zalaqi, who presided over the polling station in Duraz, said more voters showed up than the first round of elections.

'People are still coming to vote in large numbers, in fact so far there has been a higher turnout than the first round of elections,' he told the GDN.

Meanwhile, rioters clashed with police outside a voting centre in Al Malkiya.

A group of youngsters also attempted to throw Molotov cocktails at a police patrol stationed in front of Reef Mall. Police dispersed the rioters by firing tear gas.

Riot police were heavily deployed near Al Dair Primary Intermediate Girls School in Muharraq as thugs set tyres and trash bins on fire.

However, Municipal candidate Taghreed Al Alawi, contesting in Muharraq's constituency six, said voters turned out in large numbers in Dair and Samaheej to defy the boycott calls.

'I am contesting from an area that is different from the rest of Muharraq because there is mostly trouble here,' she said. 'It takes courage to nominate and contest for the elections from this place. So far things are looking fine with a good turnout of voters which is a positive sign.'

Al Alawi went against Ali Nasooh in the second round of voting yesterday.

Outgoing MP Abbas Al Madi, who is standing for re-election against Nabeel Al Asheeri, said residents of his area have ignored all boycott calls.

'Some people were told in my area not to go out and vote, but we spoke with them and assured them that there is nothing to be afraid of. They have come out and voted for Bahrain,' he said. – TradeArabia News Service




Tags: Bahrain | opposition | elections | Boycott |

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