Monitoring and Funding Elections

The Bahrain Transparency Society requested permission from Government to observe the upcoming elections for municipalities and Parliament expected to take place next October. The Society requested financial support from Government; especially as the Government refuses foreign monitors during elections. According to some sources, the Ministry of Social Development said that monitoring elections is not the responsibility of the Transparency Society. It is worth mentioning that the Transparency Society and the Bahraini Human Rights Society had monitored the 2002 and 2006 elections and intend to do the same in the next elections. Both societies are planning to monitor the upcoming elections despite the fact that the two societies have not been given permission to monitor the elections, according to the President of the Transparency society, Abdul Nabi Al Ekri.. He stated in Al Wasat on 6 July 2010: ‘We depended previously on his Majesty the King’s permission to monitor the elections and this time we haven’t had any official response regarding the matter up till now.’

Ekri disclosed training programme for 200 individuals who will then take the responsibility of training the monitoring groups. In order to reinforce the role of civil society organizations in monitoring the elections, the Transparency Society sent a letter to the Minister of Justice requesting permission to monitor the elections. On the other hand, the Secretary-General of the Bahrain Society for Human Rights, Abdullah Al Durazi, stated that the Ministry of Social Development should not interfere in both societies’ work. He said: ‘We advise the Ministry of Social Development to not ban or obstruct the societies’ work as this will harm Bahrain’s good reputation with regards to election monitoring. If the Ministry prevents the joint committee from monitoring the elections, this will harm the democratic process.’ (Al Ayam 20 July 2010).