2010 Bahraini general election

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2010 Bahraini general election

← 2006 23 October 2010 (first round)
30 October 2010 (second round)
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All 40 seats in the Council of Representatives
  First party Second party Third party
  No image.png 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
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General elections were held in Bahrain in October 2010 to elect the forty members of the Council of Representatives.[1] The first round of voting was held on 23 October, with a second round on 30 October.[2] Amidst boycotts and arrests, Al Wefaq won 18 of the 40 seats. Four women were elected.[3]


The main opposition party Haq Movement and several other opposition parties such as the Al-Wafa Islamic Movement, Bahrain Freedom Movement, Khalas Movement and Islamic Action Society called for a boycott of the elections,[4] on the grounds that participation would be "tantamount to accepting the unjust sectarian apartheid system."

Riots were also reported after several opposition spokespersons were arrested after speaking about human rights issues in Bahrain.[5] 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."[5]

There were also further arrests and repressions of the Shia majority.[6][7][8] 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."[9] Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and the Project on Middle East Democracy noted government arrests and repressions ahead of the election.[10]

The head of the Al Wefaq party, Ali Salman, said the government should be shared with the people, in what was seen 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."[11]


A total of 292 Bahraini observers from non-governmental organizations monitored the elections, though foreign observers were not allowed.[12]

Allegations were made of problems on election day; 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.[13] 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."[11]


More than 318,000 were eligible to vote.[12] 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.[9] 127 candidates stood in the election.[10]

Al Wefaq won 18 of the 40 seats, one more than the previous election.[2] Shia and independent candidates won a majority of seats for the first time.[10]


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. Archived from the original on 19 October 2017.

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."[9]


A local analyst, Obaidaly al-Obaidaly, said the press campaign that accompanied the arrests resulted in a favourable outcome for Al Wefaq. "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."[9]


Following the 2011 Bahraini protests, all 18 Al Wefaq MPs resigned from parliament.[14]


  1. ^ Maximiliano Herrera. "Electoral Calendar- world elections,US elections,presidential election,world parties". Mherrera.org. Archived from the original on 14 August 2010. Retrieved 2010-08-21.
  2. ^ a b Bahrain's Opposition INAA Wins 18 Seats in Parliament Al-Manar, 24 October 2010[permanent dead link]
  3. ^ "Bahrain's political societies lose big in polls". Gulf News. 1 December 2014.
  4. ^ "Bahrain: Four opposition groups call for boycotting Bahrain Election". The Muslim News. 23 October 2010. Archived from the original on 22 March 2012. Retrieved 26 October 2010.
  5. ^ a b Monarchy v. Democracy CounterPunch, 3 September 2010
  6. ^ Bahrain continues to suppress Shia Press TV, 9 October 2010
  7. ^ Bahrain silencing rights activists Press TV, 2 October 2010
  8. ^ Bahrain bars rights activists from travel Press TV, 29 September 2010
  9. ^ a b c d Mahjoub, Taieb (October 24, 2010). "Shiites make slender gain in Bahrain election". Agence France-Presse. Retrieved 11 November 2010.
  10. ^ a b c Sunnis lose Bahrain parliament majority Press TV, 31 October 2010
  11. ^ a b Bahrainis Vote for New Parliament amid Political Tensions Al-Manar, 23 October 2010[permanent dead link]
  12. ^ a b Parliament polls close in Bahrain Al Jazeera, 23 October 2010
  13. ^ Poll success for Bahrain Shia bloc Al Jazeera, 24 October 2010
  14. ^ Bahraini woman dies 'during protest' Al Jazeera, 16 July 2011