Bahraini voters turned out in record numbers on Saturday, electing 40 representatives to the National Council and 30-member local councils for a four-year term.
State news agency BNA reported that the high voter turnout was a sign of the country’s leadership’s commitment to democracy, Justice Minister Nawaf bin Mohammed Al Mua’awda said.
In addition to declaring the elections free and fair, the minister emphasised that voting took place across the nation without interruption. However, a ban on opposition candidates meant the election will bring no meaningful change despite a record number of people vying for seats, rights groups have said.
In 2019, Bahrain has recorded the greatest number of challengers, with 561 seeking 40 seats in the national assembly and 176 vying for 30 seats on the municipal councils. This represents a 20% rise from 2018.
People were allowed to vote at any of the 53,000 polling stations across the country from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. without interruption.