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
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).