MANAMA: The countdown to Bahrain’s national polls has officially started, with His Majesty King Hamad confirming the first round of voting for parliament will take place on November 24.
He made the announcement yesterday as he chaired the weekly Cabinet meeting at Sakhir Palace.
The second round of voting will take place on December 1, with eligible voters able to cast their ballots at polling stations between 8am and 8pm on both dates.
Overseas elections will be held at embassies, consulates and diplomatic missions on November 20 and 27, while candidates can submit nominations from October 17 to 21.
The King also issued a decree forming a general committee to oversee the ballot and vote counting during the meeting, also attended by His Royal Highness Prime Minister Prince Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa and His Royal Highness Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, Crown Prince, Deputy Supreme Commander and First Deputy Premier.
The King called on the government to ensure the polls are free, fair and transparent, while urging the public to exercise their right to vote and elect the most competent and efficient candidates.
“Bahrain will write a new chapter and usher in a fresh start in its democratic life,” he said.
He also reiterated commitment to develop Bahrain’s political and democratic landscape, pointing to landmark achievements during 16 years of parliamentary work in the country.
The Premier said all government ministries and departments would be mobilised to ensure successful elections, paying tribute to previous co-operation between the executive and legislative branches since 2002.