An elderly Bahraini woman prepares her ballot at a polling station in the city of Jidhafs, about 3km west of the capital Manama, during parliamentary elections, on Nov 12, 2022. (PHOTO / AFP)
MANAMA – Bahrain said voter turnout was more than 70 percent in general elections on Saturday.
Authorities in the Sunni-ruled state said the vote was "free" and put turnout at 73 percent. There were fewer eligible voters in Saturday's parliament and municipal polls at 344,713, compared with the previous election in 2018 when turnout was 67 percent among 365,467 voters.
Justice Minister Nawaf Al-Ma'awda earlier said the voter list did not include individuals who did not previously vote but that they "were given the chance to then register"
Justice Minister Nawaf Al-Ma'awda earlier said the voter list did not include individuals who did not previously vote but that they "were given the chance to then register".
Over 500 candidates contested the race including 334 for 40 parliamentary seats. Authorities said the total number of women candidates was more than double the 2018 figure at 94.
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They did not say when the results would be announced.
Parliament consists of the Council of Representatives and a 40-member Shura Council appointed by the king.
The Interior Ministry late on Friday announced a cyber attack on websites "to hinder the elections". A foreign ministry official said investigations were ongoing.
"I don't see anyone domestically with vested interest to do this," Sheikh Abdulla Al Khalifa, undersecretary for political affairs at the Foreign Ministry, told Reuters.
Higher oil prices have improved the fiscal outlook for Bahrain, which says it is pushing ahead with an economic plan to grow non-oil GDP by 5 percent this year and create 20,000 jobs for Bahrainis each year for the next two years.
At one polling centre several voters said jobs and wages were main concerns.
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"They need to reassure new graduates that there will be jobs for them … and take care of pensioners," said Ali Jassem Ibrahim, a 54-year-old defense ministry employee.