YusufRabie, the president of Bahrain Forum for Human Rights, stated that the re-defining of electoral districts in Bahrain undermines equalityamong citizens, which is an inherent right in the local and international law.This redistricting also maintains the practices of racial discrimination whichis internationally incriminated under the International Convention on theElimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, signed by the Bahrainigovernment.
Rabiedisclosed that the electoral district distribution issued on Tuesday, September23rd by a royal decree depends chiefly on dissolvingdistrict boundaries in favor of state authorities and their political agendas,particularly by distributing constituencies of the Central Governorate among theCapital and Northern districts, according to an approach based on dividing neighborhoods.This division is considered a violation of the voters’ political right as wasthe case with Nuwaidarat and Sanad towns for instance, which were divided amongthe Capital and Southern governorates in order to electorally weaken them.
Rabieexplained; however, that the recent amendments made to the previously adoptedelectoral system added new violations, regarding the disproportion in the populationand its geographical distribution among towns and governorates. Rabie unveiledthat the number of voters of the Southern Governorate in 2010 was “17295”whereas reached “71302” in 2014. This matter raises questions marks over thelegality of the adopted standards in relation to the huge leap in the number ofvoters in this governorate and remaining ones; in addition to other questionsconcerning the number of illegally naturalized voters.
Thecabinet paper or what is called the “document” violates authentic texts in theBahraini Constitution, especially concerning the right to accountability, processof government resignation and dissolution of the Parliament, Rabie added. Healso said that this indicates the dominance of the stultifying strategy againstpeople, regarding the fact that they are the source of authorities, describingthe document as a political game that does not take into consideration the graveviolations of human rights.
Nonetheless,Rabie considered the statement of the executive director of elections, in whichhe stated that there is no need of international supervision of the electoralprocess in Bahrain, as unreasonable. Rabie also stressed that evadinginternational supervision raises concerns over the integrity and transparencyof the elections, particularly with an electoral system that does not takejustice among citizens into account.