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Ex-members of dissolved societies may face poll ban

Bahrain News
Sat, 21 Apr 2018
GDN


A VOTE on whether former members of dissolved political societies should be banned from contesting national elections will be taken by MPs on Tuesday.
The proposed amendment to the 2002 Political Societies Law was originally presented by parliament in February and has been backed by the Cabinet and the Legislation and Legal Opinion Commission.
It comes ahead of elections later this year for parliament and municipal councils, with successful candidates serving a four-year term that runs until 2022.
“The amendment doesn’t affect the constitutional right to cast votes, it just prevents extremists from getting seats as public representatives,” the Cabinet has told parliament in writing.
“Public interest requires that such a move is implemented for the sake of the nation in the upcoming elections.”
The Commission told parliament in writing that former members of banned societies could not be trusted.
“Those individuals are unworthy of representing the public, taking up its case or protecting its interests and should be banned,” it said.
Among those affected would be former members of Bahrain’s main opposition group, Al Wefaq National Islamic Society.
The Cassation Court in February upheld a verdict to dissolve Al Wefaq for inciting violence, sectarianism and encouraging participation in illegal rallies.
A vote on amendments to the 2002 Criminal Proceeds Law, which would create a witness protection programme in Bahrain, will also take place. It enables the Public Prosecution to change the addresses, names and identities of witnesses who co-operate in major crimes. 

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