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Historic Victory for Women in Bahrain Elections

Historic Victory for Women in Bahrain Elections

Monday, 3 December, 2018 - 06:45
Vote counting in Manama. Asharq Al-Awsat
Manama - Obaid al-Suheimy
Bahraini women made history last week by winning six legislative seats, 15 percent of the Parliament’s representation, during legislative elections that saw the victory of about 92 percent of fresh-faced independents.

“The total number of women in Parliament increased 100 percent compared to its level in the previous legislature,” Supreme Council for Women (SCW) Secretary-General Hala Al Ansari told Asharq Al-Awsat on Sunday.

“Some women got 5,000 votes, competing with the strongest candidates,” Al Ansari said.

Last Friday, Bahrainis had to vote for a second time in a week after the first round of voting left dozens of seats unfilled.

In the Nov. 24 elections, two women had won from nine legislative seats in the 40-seat Parliament.

In the second round, four women were elected for 31 seats not secured during the first round of voting.

According to the final results, Masooma Abdulrahim of the capital’s sixth district, Sawsan Kamal of the capital’s second district and Kaltham Abdulkareem of the northern first district won against their male opponents, while Zainab Abdulameer defeated her female competitor Afaf al-Mosawi in the capital’s seventh district.

When Bahrain held its first elections in 2002, all 31 women candidates lost.

Later in 2006, 18 female candidates ran for the elections but only one candidate, Lateefa al-Gaood, won.

In 2014, three women secured legislative seats.

After the official results of the parliamentary elections were announced on Sunday, Bahraini King Hamad bin Isa Al-Khalifa issued a royal order accepting the Cabinet’s resignation.

He assigned Prime Minister Prince Khalifa bin Salman Al-Khalifa to take care of urgent state affairs pending the formation of the new Cabinet.

Yasser Isa Al Nasser, the Cabinet Secretary General, said that the Prime Minister had announced the resignation of the government in a letter presented to the King.

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