Al Wefaq: Official Turnout Numbers are Ridiculous

Al Wefaq: Official Turnout Numbers are Ridiculous
Mon Nov 24, 2014 11:25:55

Al Wefaq National Islamic Society said the voter turnout the Authority is trying to promote is amusing, ridiculous and hardly credible.

Controversy clouded Bahrain's first election since Sunni authorities crushed protests led by the Persian Gulf monarchy's Shiite majority, with the opposition mocking government boasts of more than 50 per cent turnout.

While the Al-Khalifa official electoral commission put voter turnout at 51.5 percent, Bahrain’s al-Wefaq National Islamic Society, which has decried the elections as a “farce”, said only 30 percent of eligible voters had participated in the election.

Officials in the Government of Bahrain are attempting to mislead the public opinion and escape the wide boycott of elections by announcing exaggerated numbers of voter turnout, al-Wefaq cited.

Sources reported that voter turnout is somewhere around 30%, with no more than a 5% increase or decrease around this figure, given the number of people who went to vote in polls around the country, it added.

If the Authorities had not pushed tens of thousands of militants and other public employees to vote or else be penalized through layoffs or denial to services, this percentage would not have been reached, al-Wefaq statement declared.

The officials promoting these numbers today are those very same officials who claimed Bahraini medics had exacerbated wounds of protesters and that detainees died of diseases in custody, only to be proven wrong by the independent commission of inquiry chaired by Prof. Cherif Bassiuoni, al-Wefaqsaid.

al-Wefaq said, "They also claimed mosques had not been demolished before the commission’s report confirmed the regime demolished 38 mosques, all of which they are partly responsible for."

On Saturday, the polling stations closed at 1900 GMT after the electoral commission extended it for two hours in a likely bid to increase turnout amid reports that many Shia Muslims had joined a boycott campaign launched by the Bahraini opposition.

Some 350,000 eligible Bahrainis had been called to choose 40 legislators from among 266 mostly Sunni candidates.

Since mid-February 2011, thousands of protesters have held numerous demonstrations in the streets of Bahrain, calling for the Al Khalifa royal family to give up power.

Hundreds of demonstrators on Friday - one day before election day -  took to the streets pledging to boycott the polls, with police firing tear gas to disperse them. People of Bahrain also cast ballots in a referendum against the Manama regime.

 

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