All bets are in, Saidi to win!

16 Nov, '06

Jassim Al-Saidi aka Deputy DawgYep, you heard it here first guys, but I’m sure that lovely old ditty “that loving feeling” might have been playing in your minds non-stop, but today, the main guy running against the effervescent ex-MP and soon to be re-anointed to the chamber Jassim Al-Saidi has announced his departure (Arabic) from the race; thus, Saidi virtually has no one running against him any more!

This is the guy who’s (been told to) given up:

Mohammed Shaheen Touq Al-Buainain

And now, look at the lovelies remaining in that constituency.

God help us!

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  1. A Saudi says:

    God help you indeed, I could only but chuckle while glancing at those stellar resumes, in the other hand if you saw some of the misfits that were on offer across the channel at our last municipal elections you might not feel too bad after all.

    I remember one memorable campaign slogan from a schmuck whose surname was khubbaz (baker): “Give the Baker his bread… even if he steals half of it!!” What a gem… At least you don’t have to wonder where all the silverware has disappeared to after his term is up!

  2. Riffa says:

    Go Jassim!! I’d miss him if he left

  3. Bugs says:

    I guess most of the “royals” will vote for him.

  4. Suad says:

    شكرا على المعلومة. من باب الفضول مريت بشكل سريع على السيرة الذاتية لمرشحين دائرتي والدوائر الثانية. بصراحة السالفة “ماتبشر بالخير”.

    اذا تغاضينا عن المؤهلات العلمية والخبرة العملية(طبعا اللى ما عنده اى من الاثنين فك روحه وما خلى شى عن الفشله) توقعت على الاقل ان يكون فيه خبرة بالعمل السياسي او حتى مشاركات وان كانت “متواضعة”.

    بصراحة شكله جذي بقعد في البيت ومابرشح أحد.

  5. When I first glanced at this post, I nearly fell off my chair. I thought the post said that Al Saidi has withdrawn. I guess that is too good to be true.. SIGH.. Why should he withdraw though? His expenses fully paid, his pockets greased with payoffs, he is living the good life. I just hope that the people in his da2era open their eyes and see him for the scum that he is.

  6. Bahrainiac says:

    :no: I can’t believe you all find this troubling. Saidi had the vote in the bag when he exclaimed his campaign slogan:

    “A vote for me is a vote against the Mannequins!”

    and who can forget:

    “Citizenship with every vote!”

  7. moclippa says:

    So why are all the reasonable people starting to (being told to) drop out. And why are accusations being thrown up that the “Royals” have a hand in this?

    Please, continue to poke my bubble, I find all this too interesting not to learn from.

  8. moclippa says:

    Ah yes, one more question… with the buildup of secretarian conflict in the parliment, where are the secular candidates? Shouldn’t there be a push by Secular candidates to declare that they see Bahrainis for who they are and not only as religous groups? Or is it simply impossible for any candidate to push through a succesful secular platform without getting completly outed from the onset?

  9. mahmood says:

    Because it boggles the mind, moclippa, that no reasonable explanation easily comes forth. I grant you that my personal contention, and it seems the majority of the street – judging by various articles in several papers – all point the finger to someone or some group of royals seeing their continuation and salvation at the hands of “loyal” Salafis whose definition of loyalty is to blindly follow the leader, as that leader WAS chosen by Allah, and thus, anyone not doing so automatically falls outside of His mercy.

    And then this “process” fits very well with the spirit and recommendations of Bandargate; therefore, in the absence of a clear and credible denial by the Royal Court and the royals generally, one is forcibly led to believe that this is so: the royals are behind these shenanigans. Else, tell me please, who in their right mind would elect a moron like Saidi? And who are the double morons who would RE-elect him?

    Would you?

    You see, treating Bandargate as a “summer cloud” won’t cut it. Treating it like a poisonous cloud which much be dealt with promptly and scientifically is what is required to disperse it.

    On the second question, and again judging by what is written in the press, specifically the dying throes of the Salafis and Muslim Brotherhood candidates and their quite exposed and childish shenanigans as well as from various discussions I have held with friends and acquaintances who represent a good cross-section of society, there is a grass-roots change in perception. People, I am convinced now and for the major part, are not looking for preachers, they are fed up of Islamists, hence they are thronging to the support of liberals especially those of Wa’ad and National Unity lists.

    Munira Fakhro’s camp did not expect that the opening of her election tent would bring in more than a couple of thousand supporters at best, they put out 3,500 chairs and if you see from the pictures of that night, there was easily 4 – 5,000 present! Of course, her brain-dead opponent Salah Ali – who has used every single dirty trick in the book, which is a mark of his utter desperation – questioned the numbers and so did Al-Saidi, claiming that those people were bussed in, forgetting to note that none of those present were seen mounting those hypothetical buses to take them back from whence they came!

    And of those stories there are many: ask about the responses to Ibrahim Sharif, Abdulrahman Al-Noami, Sami Siadi and their ilk and you will start to recognise (I hope I am correct in this) the shift taking hold in the perception. And more importantly, look at the desperation of the expended and expired Islamists and I am sure you will agree that it is true.

  10. moclippa says:

    LOL Mahmood, one thing I’ve learnt about politics is not to doubt the amount of ‘morons’ out there pushing people through elections all the time! As jaded as I think I get about politics sometimes, these people always manage to suprise me!

    I never knew Saidi’s platform was partly built on the note that he viewed the king as being chosen by Allah, always new suprises at every turn it seems… I hate that people are still able to push very succesful campaigns through by sensationalizing moral or religous views, however skewed they may be. I obviously would never push a vote in for him, and it scares me to think that others do… but seeing as nobody is going against him in this election, I guess that is besides the point isn’t it… You should try to get interviews in with the other candidates and question them about their decision to leave the district election; I’d love to hear what they have to say about it… at this point I believe you are probably credible enough a voice in Bahrain to do so! What worries me is that Saidi may have threatened them with mudslinging or dug up dirt on them that he would take public (as is done often in the U.S. where excellent candidates leave all the time based on attempts to avoid getting their names dragged through the mud by rivals)

    It’s good that you’ve noted a grass-roots approach that is starting to denounce the islamists as good candidates. From conversations with friends I’ve always noted my disgust at the elected parliment, but that I thought this was simply a consequence of them being the first elections and people not voting for the correct reasons (i.e. tribes or beards) or being misinformed… in time, hopefully votes (and candidates) will get better, and citizens will slowely organize and empower themselves to get their concerns across in a way that forces their representatives to act, and holds them accountable for their errors. The unitary power of the royal family will decrease as this process of citizen education and empowerment goes through… it will take time and slow legislation, but I believe thats better then too radical a change!

  11. mahmood says:

    I share your belief completely too, moclippa. I too believe in evolution rather than revolution and I think that the former is the only credible way to go forward, and at the end of the day I really think that it is this choice which will be chosen as strategy for political development in Bahrain by all sides. Failing to do so carries far too much chaos and hardship for sane people to consider.

    These elections are a lot different from the first in that people now are much more educated and politically aware of the role of parliament and politicians. The funny thing is that the 29 who seek re-election are going about it with the “first time” approach; rigging, buying, threatening and corruption.

    Let me tell you of a story I heard of SHAIKH Abdulla Al-A’ali who is running once again for the 8th district of Manama: this guy was threatened with legal action during the first few months of the first term of parliament because he had 8 months arrears on his flat’s rent in Bilad Al-Qadeem, totaling less than BD800 and he couldn’t pay it then. Now, my mum’s neighbours (she lives in the same area) are telling her that after 4 years in parliament, he not only paid those arrears (or were dropped against him, I don’t know) but has also built THREE huge villas in Bilad, each equipped even with elevators and the third is more than 50% done.

    He apparently (allegedly) offered one of his opponents in that district BD14,000 to drop out of the race, when the opponent asked him the reason for doing so, Al-A’ali said that he needs to get more money to finish his third villa!

    It should be easy enough to verify his ownership of the three villas, if not the other alligations.

    Another thing is that I have been told (and I’m still desperately trying to get the full information) that both Al-Saidi and Al-Moawdah are two founders in a new company which has been noted in the Official Gazette where Al-Saidi ploncked down BD150,000 and Al-Moawdah BD200,000 as founders! No one asked them where they got that kind of money from, considering that Al-Saidi was a simple mosque preacher getting probably BD140 a month, while Al-Moawdah was a CSO employee who can’t have grossed more than BD1,000 a month.

    Needless to say that both vociferously opposed that “Where did you get that from?” legislation.

    And then you have Dr. Salah Ali who is running against Munira Fakhro in Isa Town, informed sources claim that his bank account is close to BD4 million, and that he’s going around handing over bags of cash to ensure his re-election. It is alleged that the Royal Court gave him a gift of BD170,000, others, especially the Muslim Brotherhood of Kuwait ploncked BD2 million to help with the re-election expenses of his society and various other payments no one knows what he has rendered in service for. Yet, he is desperate enough to go personally knocking on doors in the Isa Town flats promising BD500 per vote. He was implicated last week in a direct payment – via cheque! – of BD100 to a voter who allegedly received the payment in lieu of his changing his address to ensure a vote for Ali.

    Dirty? Much more than I anticipated.

  12. moclippa says:

    For sure… corruption as such will occur, we need to build up mechanisims to check for and ensure against it… this type of work is best suited for the media generally, but with the media blackouts surrounding issues as such it seems the only place to find alternate reports is on the internet, specifically websites such as yours. The problem with citizen journalisim though, is while it gets people talking, it often lacks substance in terms of direct proof (This is not an accusation against you, all I’m saying is that I understand you have a job that brings in money, and a blog that may or may not… a journalists career is based off reciving revenue for exposing or reporting, allowing for them to be more dedicated to presenting and building a case… well, at least the decent ones).

    Things like enormous bank accounts in parliment magically appearing need to be checked and reported on. Legislation needs to be put in place to put these parlimantarians more accountable, and government activities more transparent… Again… Accountability and Transparency are the keys to developing both trust, and a good system of governance.

    What has always attracted me about coming back to work in Bahrain has always been its size and diversity, it presents a lot of grounds for building up a good study, and experimenting with different types of administration to find something that facilitates development of interactions between the government and its people. We are a small country with few natural resources, most of which are rapidly diminishing… are primary attribute that will keep us alive, well and competitive in a globalized economy is our human capital…. developing that relies on an evolution of governance and an education of society… Bahrain needs to stand out not only in the Middle East, but the world at large.

    The first step in my opinion is grass roots development programs, non-profit enterprises that are built for and around the community, and put an emphasis on human development. These are simple projects that encourage youth to get involved, and are built around creating activities (which though may be specific in their own right… whether they be community assistance, beautification, or objective political monitoring/consultation), encourage understanding and communication with people of different backgrounds, that will hopefully provide for an environment, as an end result, that see’s Bahraini’s as people rather then as segregated entities representative of differentiated and seperate communities.

    I hope to start a non-profit when/if I return, though I’m still trying to figure out what it should specialize in… that will hopefully come in time, through reading about the country’s issues, and through walking around and viewing things personally… but for now, I reserve that the most effective non-profits (at this point) will be the ones that are non political in both mandate and action, and simply just provide a service that people, regardless of background, will appreciate.

  13. mahmood says:

    I agree, again. We’re on the same page moclippa.

    Let me suggest something to put in immediate effect as far transparent elections are concerned which will – I hope – be a detrement to vote-buying:

    1. Remove the curtains off the voting booths.
    2. Do not allow ANYONE to take a mobile phone or camera with him/her to the booth.

    Why? Because there have been strong allegations that for a voter to get paid for his vote, s/he’s got to offer “proof” that s/he voted for the candidate, and with each vote priced at BD500 at the moment (I am told it is as high as that in constituency 4 of the Central district) I would bloody well need proof that “my guy/gal” has actually ticked the box s/he was told to tick!

    So no cameras/mobiles = no proof, and if the asshat has used the “swear on the Quran that I will vote for you” method, then he deserves to lose his money, and be reported for his efforts. Of course the irony of using the Quran in order to insure a wrong is wasted on them, and even more so that most resorting to this method are Islamists!

    Removing the curtains off the booths will remove the doubt that people will take the voting cards with them, or bring counterfeit ones with them. Far fetched in our case as each card has an alarmed magnetic strip that will sound the bells if one attempted to take it out of the voting centres, but still… it would be a good thing to do.

  14. Maverick says:

    Voting is supposed to be secretive so others cannot hold your choice against you. One way is the install temporary digital mobile phone/camera jamming equipment to prevent their use or confiscate them before people enter or inform them that they must leave it in their car like at the embassies.

    This is why electronic voting helps like in India. I am sure the Indian govt will be happy to share the tech with Bahrain.

    Moreover imagine the amount of people neede to strip search every person to ensure no bogus voting slips are entered. However each year the government can make new type of voting slips with separate barcodes for each canditate next to his photo and name. Counters can then scan only those bar codes to accurately record the vote.

    Some may compain that this is explotable with counters being manipulated with bribes. The whole election system in any country is exploitable, but you have to trust someone along the way. In floriday they use the stupid butterfly system and confused the daylights out of the voters. Visual games are used to trick voters into stamping in thwe wrong area. This is why each candidate must have a separate voting circle next to their photo with their name below the photos and circle and with their bar code covering the area below the name and circle to ensure that the voter know whom he is choosing. If candidates are many then color code the background area behind the candidates photo and voting circle to ensure distinct identification.

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