One of the main grievances people of Bahrain have is the iniquitous distribution of the electoral districts. We find that in the 2006 elections for instance, the Northern Governate contains a total of 91,874 voters electing nine members of parliament; while in the Southern Governate, the voters there number only 16,571 but they get to elect six members of parliament. This means that while members of parliament in the Northern Governate average one MP for every 10,802 votes, we find that in the Southern Governate the average is one MP for every 2,761 votes!
This means that one vote in the Southern Governate equals two and a half of those in the Northern Governate. Iniquitous by any standard, but when you consider that this results in direct representation in an elected parliament, one cannot help but think of clear discrimination on the part of the government against a large swathe of the country’s population. Comparing numbers in other districts affirms this clear and unadulterated prejudice.
One person is taking the government to task about these issues where it counts; lawyer Abdulla Al-Shamlawi is suing the government in its own courts [Arabic] for this iniquitous distribution of electoral districts on behalf of a citizen in District 1 in the Northern Governate, a Mr. Mattar Ibrahim Al-Mattar.
Al-Shamlawi’s battle is a winning one logically and he is driving the Legal Department – representing the government – into a spiral of self destruction as he is taking every illogical single point they throw to the fore, deconstucts it and replies with facts and solid logic, especially when you consider that they are trying to defend the indefensible.
Apart form the various seminars and workshops and demonstrations which are almost a weekly occurrence since they drew the illogical and completely illegal electoral boundaries, this, I feel is the cherry on the cake and the most effective method to get this iniquitous situation corrected.
Well done Mr. Al-Shamlawi. Much respect and admiration and God’s speed.