Bahraini general election, 2010

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Bahraini general election, 2010

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All 40 seats to the lower house

  First party Second party Third party
  No image.png No image.png
Leader Ali Salman Ghanim Al Buaneen Salah Ali
Party Al Wefaq Al Asalah Al-Menbar Islamic Society
Seats won 18 3 2
Popular vote 82,838 5,277 5,452
Emblem of Bahrain.svg
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General elections were held in Bahrain with the first-round on 23 October 2010,[1] and the second round on 30 October.[2] Al-Wefaq won a plurality. The election followed controversy amidst boycotts and arrests.


The lower house of parliament, for which the election is held, has the authority to pass legislation proposed by the sovereign or the governing cabinet, as well as monitoring authority. The upper consultative council has the power to block legislation from the lower house.[2]


The main opposition party Haq Movement and several other opposition parties such as the Wafa Party, Bahrain Freedom Movement, Khalas Movement and Islamic Action Society decided to boycott the election.[3]

Riots were also reported after several opposition spokespersons were arrested after speaking about human rights issues in Bahrain.[4] The head of Al Wefaq party, also said that "The way the ongoing security campaign has been handled and the rights violations that accompanied it have in one week destroyed 10 years of progress in this country."[4]

There were also further arrests and repressions of the Shia majority.[5][6][7] Shia political activists and international human rights watchdogs warned of a "drift back to full-blown authoritarianism." However, Foreign Minister Sheikh Khaled bin Ahmad al-Khalifa claimed the arrests were "not linked to elections."[8] Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and the Project on Middle East Democracy noted government arrests and repressions ahread of the election.[9]

The head of the Al Wefaq party, Ali Salman, said the government should be shared with the people, in what was read as an open challenge to the ruling Al-Khalifa dynasty. "It is unacceptable that power be monopolised by a single family, even one to which we owe respect and consideration. We look forward to the day when any child of the people, be they Sunni or Shia, can become prime minister."[10]


About 292 Bahraini observers from non-governmental organizations monitored the elections, though foreign observers were not allowed.[11]

The credibility of the election was threatened by allegations of voting problems. Al Wefaq's Sheikh Ali Salman claimed at least 890 voters were not allowed to vote in mostly Shia districts because their names were absent from electoral lists. "This is not the full number. We expect it to be higher." The party tallied up the voters who said there were not allowed to vote, in order to use these numbers to challenge to the official results.[12] The opposition also expressed concern that the authorities used the votes of military personnel in favour of some candidates at the expense of others in an "exploitation of general positions."[10]


Forty seats were elected on October 24, with the runoffs that were needed on October 30.[2] A total of 127 candidates competed in the election, which was also chose municipal councils.

More thant 318,000 were eligible to vote.[11] Head of the electoral commission and Justice Minister, Sheikh Khaled bin Ali al-Khalifa, gave an estimate of turnout of "at least 67 percent," less than the 72% in 2006 and 53.4% in 2002.[8] 127 candidates stood in the election.[9]

The Islamic National Accord Association won 18 of the 40 seats, 1 more than the previous election.[2] Shia and independent candidates won a majority of seats for the first time.[9]


e • d Summary of the 23 October and 30 October 2010 Council of Representatives of Bahrain elections results
Party Ideology Seats
Al Wefaq Shia Islamist 18
Al Asalah Sunni Salafist 3
Al-Menbar Islamic Society Sunni Islamist 2
Independents Various 17
Total 40
Source: "Independents the biggest winners". Gulf Daily News. 1 November 2010.

By constituency[edit]

e • d Winners of 2010 Bahraini parliamentary elections
Governorate District Candidate's name Affiliation 1st round 2nd round
Votes % Votes %
Capital 1 Adel Assoumi Independent 1878 65.32%  
2 Khalil Al Marzooq Al Wefaq 2141 58.40%
3 Hadi Al Mousawi Al Wefaq 1926 85.64%
4 Abduljalil Khalil Al Wefaq Win by default
5 Mohammed Mezel Al Wefaq 1667 67.24%  
6 Abdulrahman Bumajeed Independent 1144 56.89%
7 Abdulmajid Al Sebea Al Wefaq 1842 63.45%
8 Jameel Kadhim Al Wefaq 2818 86.20%
Muharraq 1 Adel Al Maawda Al Asalah Win by default
2 Abdul Hameed Al Meer Independent 1357 43.83% 1737 58.60%
3 Ali Ahmed Al Menbar 1140 37.11% 1675 55.03%
4 Mahmood Al Mahmood Independent 1904 26.41% 3418 52.58%
5 Isa Al Kooheji Independent 1891 57.62%  
6 Ali Al Asheeri Al Wefaq 4422 83.77%
7 Othman Sharif Independent 4562 55.72%
8 Ghanem Al Buainain Al Asalah 2099 42.85% 2774 59.49%
Northern 1 Matar Ibrahim Matar Al Wefaq 7689 85.72%  
2 Ali Al Aswad Al Wefaq 6577 87.71%
3 Abdul Hussain Al Metghawi Al Wefaq 6523 89.98%
4 Hassan Al Dossari Independent 1545 57.82%
5 Mohammed Majeed Al Wefaq 5132 86.76%
6 Mohammed Ismail Al Ammadi Al Menbar 3263 45.22% 3777 56.82%
7 Jassim Hussain Al Wefaq 5107 59.03%  
8 Jawad Fairuz Al Wefaq 5954 54.99%
9 Hassan Sultan Al Wefaq 8814 89.43%
Central 1 Salman Abdullah Salem Al Wefaq 6175 67.49%  
2 Abdullah Al Aali Al Wefaq 7242 88.99%
3 Adnan Al Maliki Independent 1875 45.18% 2533 59.36%
4 Isa Al Qadhi Independent 3237 43.13% 3905 55.99%
5 Abdali Mohammed Hassan Al Wefaq 3501 56.65%  
6 Hassan Isa Al Wefaq 5308 91.96%
7 Abdulhalim Murad Al Asalah 3178 55.9%
8 Ali Zayed Independent 3108 39.75% 3888 50.20%
9 Khalifa Al Dhahrani Independent 3586 77.42%  
Southern 1 Jassim Al Saeedi Independent 2538 62.71%  
2 Abdullah Huwail Independent 1194 52.44%
3 Ahmed Al Mulla Independent 968 30.6% 2012 71.99%
4 Abdullah Al Dossari Independent Win by default
5 Khamis Al Rumaihi Independent Win by default
6 Lateefa Al Gaood Independent Win by default
Source: Bahrain Commission for Legislation and Legal Opinion and Alwasat Newspaper


Shia cleric and MP Sheikh Ali Salman lauded the result and called for a "more positive" stance from the government. "The most important message for the government is that Al-Wefaq (INAA) is the largest political association in Bahrain. The people's will must be respected and dealt with positively."[8]


A local analyst, Obaidaly al-Obaidaly, said the press campaign that accompanied the arrests resulted in a favourable outcome for INAA. "The Shiites who were hesitant or intended to boycott the elections voted overwhelmingly in favour of Al-Wefaq, the representative of their community. Baqer al-Najar, a sociology professor at the University of Bahrain also said "The way the media handled the security situation which prevailed prior to the elections unexpectedly raised Al-Wefaq's shares. Shiites felt that they were targeted so they voted intensely for Al-Wefaq despite their restlessness with its performance throughout the past four years."[8]


Following the 2011 Bahraini protests all 18 Al Wefaq's MPs resigned from parliament.[13]