New novel method of electioneering pioneered by candidate

19 Nov, '06

I bet you have all heard of the various ways candidates resort to in order to get their names and mugshots noticed; as anywhere else in the world, parliamentary and municipal candidates in Bahrain also offer bribes, buy votes, give gifts, refurnish houses and apartments, activate whatever wasta (influence) they have to ensure that their “customers” get their names pushed up the priority list for housing and other benefits if they can, and/or simply offer copious and unending supply of food at their electioneering headquarters. That last method is actually quite hilarious when you see people (and I am told most of those are non-voters, being Indian labourers etc) pushing and shoving others aside to get to the head of the serving queue at the end of the guys interminable speeches.

Where things differ in Bahrain, are two new methods, one pioneered specifically by the Salafis I think, in that they have leant from their compatriots’ Shi’a and their ma’atems experiences, is to sponsor and bring out preachers – some well known from – wait for it, wait for it – that land of tolerance, the land of the benign smile, and miswak: Saudi Arabia, where they spread their poison and stress to those attending (not sure if they are supporters or they’re actually just there for the food) that they should vote exclusively for their patron, and at the same time spread their poison against any and all opponents, especially if the opponent is a woman or worse, a Shi’a candidate!

Adel Al-Assoumi, vice principalAnother very new and a most novel method is the creation of your very own vice posse to go around the flats and houses in your neighbourhoods catching prostitutes (arabic) (or who they believe are prostitutes) and take them to the police, under the guise of “cleaning” their areas of sin. This new method is pioneered by a Adel Al-Assoumi who is running for the first constituency of the capital covering Gudhaiybia and Hoora, with the full support and knowledge of clerics who have lauded his efforts in their Friday sermons, and even composed short text support messages which were transmitted to mobile phones.

Now there you have it! I must commend the people of Hoora and Gudhaiybia for such an honest, dutiful, straight and vigilante candidate. The “good” thing is that he says that regardless of his chances in the elections, he will continue with his posse even they are done and dusted. And what does the Ministry of Interior’s – the protector who never sleeps so that we can – comment about people taking the law into their own hands as they clearly allegedly are in this case?

رفض مدير الإعلام الأمني في وزارة الداخلية الرائد محمد بن دينة، أية تصريحات في هذا الشأن يمكن استغلالها للاستهلاك الإعلامي والحملات الانتخابية، وقال إن وزارة الداخلية تشجع المواطنين والمقيمين على التقدم بالبلاغات لما يرونه خروجاً عن القانون، وأن ليس هناك ما يمكن أن يطلق عليه <>حملة شعبية>> في شأن من شؤون واختصاصات وزارة الداخلية ومن صلب عملها، إذ أن دور المواطن والمقيم ينتهي عند التقدم بالبلاغ، وأي إجراء تقوم أجهزة وزارة الداخلية يتم بعد ذلك وفق إجراءاتها وتحت مسؤوليتها القانونية، مؤكداً أن ترؤس أياً كان لحملات من هذا النوع سيكون خارج اختصاصه ودوره الذي تقوم به الوزارة المعنية.

Al-Waqt :: 19 Nov, ’06

They’re encouraging people to continue to lodge complaints, blow whistles and point fingers, but not to take any further action as that is their sole domain.

Fair enough, that makes for a safer society, but what will the Ministry do to Adel’s Posse? Will they disband it, slap him on the wrist, or take him to court for clearly breaching several laws (and not forgetting those preachers who should also be slapped and told – once again – not to interfere in the elections?

No idea, but I’m not holding my breath.

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Comments (32)

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  1. Redbelt says:

    Your words ring true, especially thoes “Vice” monitoring candidates. Two days ago a guy from M/O Information called me and said that we were selling “illegal” & “explicit” material in our shop. I ran there, and the “confiscated” books where ranging from age rating 13-16. Hardly anything worthy of being explicit by far. Especially since its graphic novels, no real pictures of scantily clad women or such(most people refer to our books as, cartoons).

    So after some snooping round, turns out that a local candidate, was “otraged” at the “filth” and called up the minister in a bid to uphold decency. There you go, I’m a skape goat! Hmm… I feel like grass for lunch today.

  2. Romster says:

    Witch hunt

  3. nibaq says:

    I am waiting for one to start a blog or a MySpace page. They would automatically get my vote.

  4. The Joker says:

    We were waiting for this circus for a long time… and sure enough.. it rose to the occasion!

  5. a Duoist says:

    What a wonderful post! Three out of four, all in the same post!

    Politicians, priests, and prostitutes. The only similar occupation missing, is actor.

    What is it about their common psychologies that makes the behavior of these four performing professions so similar, and draws them into their respective performing arts? Perhaps it has something to do about becoming addicted to the sound of applause…

    ‘Be free.’

  6. a Duoist says:

    I’m still laughing!

    The idea of a politician arresting a prostitute is so hilariously ironic…except for the fact that the politician is likely clueless about the many similarites between his profession and hers.

    Ya gotta love the human race…especially our unintentional comedians.

  7. Bernie says:

    If it’s any consolation at all our politicians are just as bad, just a little more subtle.
    They don’t care less about the people, just themselves and it’s quite refreshing to realise it’s the same the world over. :yes:

    Just wanted to add I’ve been reading your blogs for a while and I appreciate some truth and balanced views rather than the spoon fed rubbish we get from the English media.

  8. Maverick says:

    What is wrong with prostitutes?
    I am not for them or against them. They have a life too. They perform a service for those who cannot afford to have sex with another beacuse their sponsor won;t allow their wives here or his salary is so low that he can’t amrry or his girlfriend is frigid or her father will murder him if she looses her cerry.

    Given the fact that many Bahrainis fuck around here and in Thailand and God knows where-else, you guys don;t like others to have some fun.

    What prudes? It is okay to fuck thwose whom your right hand posseses or whom you capture in war because it has been ordained huh???? Vaseline anyone?

  9. Maverick says:

    The landscape is filled with these mugshots. Somehow it gets under my skin. People think that the bigger the poster or photo sand the more the number is strewn around, the better their chances ot getting voted. Then there are more out there who vote because the believe in the above.

    It is going to be a shit load of fun.

    Shaikh Ali Salman does not want the military to vote. What a brainfart. All citizens of Bahrain have a right to vote irrespective of being military personel or not. If not then religious shaikhs, mullahs etc should not be allowed to vote for fear of fucking up the political scene with religious mumbo jumbo.

  10. Maverick says:

    Welcome back. M….You were missed………………….

  11. Anonymous says:

    Maverick,

    If you can read above, it says:
    intelligent… informative… and fun. “Dirty” is not part of the theme!

  12. Bahrainaic says:

    Maverick,
    Ditto to what Anon said. I would like to add, your comments are wonderful but please clean up the language. We don’t want the Den to be “banned” again.

  13. Akkad says:

    أكد عدد من أئمة المساجد في منطقتي الحورة والقضيبية ما ورد في رسالة قصيرة تم نشرها على نطاق واسع أمس، من أن المترشح النيابي عن أولى العاصمة عادل العسومي يقود حملة شعبية “لحماية الآداب” العامة.

    Translates as: “A number of imams for masjids in Hoora and Gudaibia confirmed [Fri 17/11/2006] that parliamentary canditate Assumi is spearheading a ‘public campaign’ aiming to protect ‘public morals'”.

    This would stand as Insider Information which is so corruborated as to be used as evidence for prosecuting Assumi and all those who counsel, aid, abett or procure; or have commissioned any of the many forms and instances of violations involved. The question, as you, Mahmood, have put it is: ‘what have the policed done’? I would add: ‘what are the DPP doing about it’? And, ‘is this form of evident violation of the law a disqualifier of Assumi’s standing for election, rather than a booster – as he calculates – of his chances to win his target seat in the, socalled, Bahraini parliament’?

    The Possible conspiracy:”Because it is best if candidates of this sort win, why disturb their way to winning!”, the very democratic authorities would say. Could this explain their silence and inaction in this matter?

    If I were a competing candidate to Assumi, I would demand that he be either disqualified. Or, I would challenge post-mortim, i.e. if he wins. I’d argue that he commissioned the prosecutionable acts involved before and for the sake of his win. Accordingly, I would demand that his win be nullified or at least stayed until he is pronounced innocent (who would prosecute him then!). The latter option is no winner obviously, because by then ‘birds would have flawn with their boon” – طارت الطيور بأرزاقها.

  14. mahmood says:

    Or is he not prosecuted because he is the Minister of Cabinet Affairs Office’s Manager?

    as we say in Bahrain, “feeha inna” loosely translated that there is something fishy going on. But that’s no surprise.

  15. Adel says:

    http://bahrainforums.com/showthread.php?t=152995

    Apparently he sold Relax Inn a 3 star hotel a couple of weeks before the election to a Saudi Investor. Guess his vice posse purpose was to eliminate competition 😆

  16. Akkad says:

    Adel, play the devil’s advocate here, for a moment?

    It is easier said but harder to convince to say that he divested for the purposes stated or in the link, above.

    The Number One Rule in investing is to buy low and to sell high. There is no evidence to stay the necessary assumption that Assumi is an intelligent investor or that the divestment mentioned occured other than by way of a sound investing accumen.

    I think that you would give me some credibility in saying this, especially given that – just a few minutes ago – I preached that the man be prosecuted or his possible win be stayed if it ever materialised. Even if I were in his Department, I would not vote altogether; OR, I would not vote for him.

  17. Maverik says:

    My sincere apologies to Mahmood and othere whose sentiments I have hurt. It was not my intention to hurt anyone. I was just ranting as I was pissed off at the hippocray that surrounds us. Why should Bahraini military personnel be prevented from voting? Is it not discrimination. Would you not feel discriminated if you were discriminated against.

    Islam teaches us peace, justice and equality for all. Islam also teaches us forgiveness. The democratic framework given to Bahrainis is new and fragile and can only be strengthened by their committment to justice and equality. I do not belive in vigilanty style of action as vigilanties loose sight of the truth and like George Bush and innocents always get hurt.

    My apologies to those who took offense.

  18. Maverik says:

    Further, I do not condone nor do I condem prostitutes. They are human. They have been created by us indirectly. To clean up this and other societies, we can show them other ways of employment and sociability. It is never easy but we can do it.

    I have heard of people boasting that they are sleeping around or have had so many girlfriends and fun and then want a pious, wrapped up virgin who will bring up their kids in the Islamic way. Where does Islam show us to do such things. Islam teaches all to be good humans and to take care of others as we expect to be cared for by others.

    By voting for the right people, you can prevent the wrong ones from entering parliment and help to make better laws and hope that the constitution can be amended by a parlimentary referrendum to the satisfaction of the Bahraini people.

  19. Ibn says:

    Hi! Look at me! I am such a great person for becoming a vigilante and tackling all those people who I deem to be “immoral”! 😆

    Mahmood,

    If this person is so adamant about this “new suggestion” for creating citizen-vigilante groups, why has he limited their powers to arresting whores, and not politicians?

    Here’s an idea: If its “immoral and vicefull” to spread-eagle for money, then im sure its “immoral and vicefull” to whip people for taking part in a peaceful protest no? I think the next stop after the brothel, is the government. 🙂

    -Ibn

  20. anonymous says:

    ذبحتني من الضحك من صجه …. الله يستر تبون الصج لاعت جبدي Ùˆ الظاهر ما في فايدة للحين بعض النواب بيتمون مكتمين على نفسنا Ùˆ الشرهة مب عليهم الشرهة على اللي ينتخبونهم Ùˆ اللي تزوغ عيونهم على المجابيس Ùˆ العيوش Ùˆ البوفيهات …. بعض المترشحين فشلونا الله يفشلهم كل يوم الجرايد تكتب عن اللي يهببونه Ùˆ يغبرونه عيل يوزعون كوبونات بترول على الاوادم اي خير تتوقعون منهم …. انشالله الناس هالمرة تتأدب Ùˆ تحسن اختيارها للنواب مب ينتخبون مثل اخر مرة نواب اللي ينطبق على بعضهم المثل اللي يقول راحت ريايل تنطح الدروازة Ùˆ ياتنا ريايل المطنزة Ùˆ العازة

  21. Jonathan says:

    Thanks god you’re still here. i was worried about your website.

  22. Maverick says:

    I heard the elections are on the 25th of November. Is that true.

    Hope all goes well.

    M you have made a mistake of not standing. We need people like you to make a difference.

    Every good person in there can adequately represent the common person and give voice to the people. Once you are an MP, they cannot ban you.

    In any case, I hope you will stand in the future.

    God bless you.

  23. Rancher says:

    All politics encompass values, religious or otherwise. Nevertheless you may champion values but once you feel the right of enforcement outside of the legal framework then you have war. You arrest my prostitute then I’ll find some reason to arrest your daughter. I’ll kill you because your faith is blasphemy then of course you get to kill me for the same reason. I think separation of church and state helps to alleviate this kind of thinking.

  24. Costa-guy says:

    Thanks Mahmood for the topic… I’m wondering.. why do those people (people considered from the government side) are fighting for a position that would not bring help to the people in the future..

    If you are talking in the name of the government then why even bother running the election?

    It’s a competetion for who is a (more suck-up)

    and we all know, as long those districts and areas are divided this way then we might see about 20 (suck-ups).

    We already have a female suck-up, we also betting on others who are dying to suck-up the government in the name of Islam. We have areas where all the candidates are suck-ups so why bother about this one constituency..

    Simply, Who will you vote to suck-up for the government??

    The Whore-Catcher?

    or

    The Gov-Lover? 8)

    whoever wins.. it’s a loss for the people of bahrain..
    =(

  25. mahmood says:

    I’m really surprised that this district only has these two jokers running, while others have as many as 12. Does Gudhaiybia and Hoora suffer from a dearth of Bahrainis I wonder, and only these two are left?

  26. Akkad says:

    Like dearth of Bahrainis, other possible causes can be listed, like: dearth of illusioned Bahrainis (i.e. abundance of disillusioned ones). I mean those who know full will that the real facts of the Called Democaracy in Bahrain, makes the thing no better than a bad sham.

    Still further other causes include, dearth of eligible Bahrainis (including those who recently got BahNationality); dearth in this areas of Bahrainis whose Arabic skills (reading/writing) meet even the very minimal mandated standard; Bahrainis who are not otherwise drunk (Bahrainis who are drunk by the said sham not being in this class); etc.

    We have all seen results of two junctions of this sham and humdrum, i.g. the 2002 Constitution, Parliament, the spendthrift other white elephants including the Women’s Council, Constitutional Court, DPP, and the Council of Justice, to name just afew examples. Now the first results and titles of the third junction (i.e. the ‘2006 “Elections”‘ will be revealed on 25/11/2006 (this coming Sat.) when the hard work of the Bandergate sub-sham comes to a full and hard climax.

    Have a Democratic Bahrain, Friends!

  27. Jalal says:

    theres a lot more about these jokes here http://www.nuwab.net/?q=taxonomy/term/22

    read the comment specialy about RELAX INN and remember who is bringing the hookers to manama

  28. mahmood says:

    that site was fun, I guess it’s not that difficult to ascertain who’s behind it and what their stream of thought is… viva le Salafis!

  29. Bahrainiac says:

    Sites lake that make me wish I had learned Arabic!

  30. Costa-guy says:

    that site was fun, I guess it’s not that difficult to ascertain who’s behind it and what their stream of thought is… viva le Salafis!

    If the site was criticizing the governemt or (Le Salafis) then it would be blocked, banned and those behind it would be charged.

    Anyway those people attack only through Internet & closed gatherings. only if they had the (guts) to say it in public.

  31. Bahrainiac says:

    oops?! Maybe I should learn to spell in English first =P

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