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Bahrain Elections: tens of thousands of voters’ delisted

More than 37,000 people in Bahrain face delisting from the voter register, so they will not have the right to vote.

Bahrain will hold parliamentary elections next month amid the absence of the minimum standards of transparency, which makes the actual number still unverifiable and remains unknown.

This is because only the authorities of the Al-Khalifa regime supervise the issuance of electoral lists when many question the ability of the judiciary to eliminate the government’s opposition.

The Bahraini law stipulates that only the Supervising Committee for the Safety of Referendum and Elections is responsible for registering citizens in the electoral rolls. It prepares the names in coordination with the concerned population body and presents them to the public for seven days.

According to the Executive Administration of Elections figures, the electoral bloc for 2022 decreased from the number in the 2018 elections.

As the total electoral bloc reached 344,713 voters, 6% less than the electoral bloc in 2018, we found ourselves in front of a huge shortage instead of an increase in the electoral bloc.

Here we are talking about the loss of the natural increase in the electoral bloc, which averages about 4%, and the loss of 6% of the previous electoral bloc.

It was expected that the electoral bloc in 2022 would reach 381,913 voters, an increase of 4.5% over the previous electoral bloc of 2018.

The authorities of the Khalifa regime did not justify or discuss the issue and the scandal. Instead, they handled the matter silently as if it was natural and that voters and citizens should accept any absurd or illegal procedure without noise.

When we refer to how electoral lists are issued, we find an explicit paragraph in the decree stating that the executive administration is responsible for giving electoral lists.

According to Decree-Law No. 57 of 2014 Article Eight – Clause (2): The lists shall include the names of voters who meet the conditions stipulated in Article Two of this law, taking into account the previous participation in the electoral process from the records.

This is provided that the voter is not deprived or exempted from exercising political rights when preparing the tables or during the period specified for their correction). It decides who is entitled to participate or who is excluded from it.

But why did the Elections Committee choose only 37,000 people to remove them from the records, and the most critical question is how many times did the authority remove names and groups?

Much of the answer has to do with the issue of building collective memory and monopolizing its elements. In a parallel analysis, such a text concerns the organization and control of collective memory.

Returning to records is a return to historical memories, in the light of which the ruling of political exclusion is issued. As if there is a desire to monopolize memory and punish people who rebel or do not participate in the making of the king’s remembrance.

The state memory is concerned with monitoring participation and engagement in its project. The national memory is broader as it involves the events of people and citizens, their orientations and positions. Therefore, it does not prevent participation and does not criminalize boycotts based on the freedom to exercise political rights.

The authorities shattered memory insists on deleting those who do not conform to their behaviour from the records and the archival memory of the electoral rolls.

According to this path, deleting more than 37,000 persons from the electoral register lacks moral commitment. On the contrary, it establishes the political right with what is brewing in the mind and project of the authority.

This behaviour gives a clear message that the authority is about to put a mark of shame on the boycotters at a time when it kindly grants the patriotic mark to the participants, in a clear vertical division of society based on the centralization of proximity to the authority and the government, and in the light of which it gives national medals and registration in the records of the national electoral memory.

According to the official version, participation rates in the 2018 and 2014 elections did not exceed 60%. Therefore the application of the records system in deletion assumes that numbers are more significant than the number recently deleted.

This did not happen. More than 30% of the electoral bloc preferred not to participate. However, only 5% were chosen to be removed without the Election Commission clarifying the criteria by which the voters’ names were restricted, and some of them were denied.

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