The Upcoming Elections and Human Rights Future
Bahrain is preparing itself for the new parliamentary elections
during which it is expected that political and civil societies,
as well as defenders of women’s rights, will engage and fiercely
compete more than the previous experience of 2006. It is hard to
anticipate the turnout of this election considering the pessimistic
stance of some Bahrainis about the extent of the public participation.
Contrary to this, BHRM believes that this is not going to be the
case as there are many new players looking for political positions
It is essential that the political process and election continue
in order to help the democratic experience mature and maintain a
reasonable amount of respect for human rights.
If the political process loses its credibility in the eyes of
the public, or if it is derailed, it will not then be possible to
guarantee the protection of human rights and prevent violations.
On the other hand, a political process cannot continue or gain respect
in an oppressive environment or where human rights are violated.
The political process in Bahrain, which includes elections as
one of its main elements, is an umbrella for human rights reforms.
It is widely believed that human rights approach represents a real
solution for violence, discrimination, assaults and suppression.
The political process manages the interests of individuals and
communities, as well as political conflicts and competitions. It
also produces legislations that protect citizens’ rights and establishes
accountability, transparency and freedom of expression. Moreover,
it pushes towards developing an independent judicial system. In
summary, any state which decides to reform and democratise its political
system would gradually develop its human rights.
Conversely, human rights violations take place extensively in
totalitarian regimes as it cannot flourish in deteriorated political
situations. Therefore, political, social and civil rights can only
be protected in a just system. This system must be approved by the
public who elect its figures and ultimately decide the fate of the
The political transition and the elections in Bahrain have resulted
in a better human rights situation. Despite isolated incidents of
violence and riots and human rights violations, the development
of the political process in recent years reflects public and official
support to the choice of respecting human rights.
Public satisfaction with the political process can be measured
in many ways: the extent of public participation in elections such
as the number of voters and the diversity of candidates and their
genders. It also can be measured through the political process’s
ability to attract new political players who previously boycotted
it. This is in addition to its ability to answer public demands
through Parliament legislations and improving the Government’s performance.
We hope to see a new Parliament that learns past experiences
and succeeds in achieving the ambitions of the voters and all their