I’ve just come back from the last election rally for Waad on the night of the 21 October before the polls open on Saturday 23 October to receive Bahrainis who will cast their ballots for parliamentary and municipal councillors for a four year term, the third such event in Bahrain’s modern history.
The rally took place in Sami Siyadi’s electioneering “tent” – normally a surrounded and shaded public plot of land in which rallies are held. Tonight, both Waad candidates in Muharraq joined forces there. Waad’s chief, Ebrahim Sharif joined Sami Siyadi to bring the activities to an end. The tent was well attended with several hundred in seated in the crowd with several standing on the fringes.
The third Waad candidate, Dr. Munira Fakhro was at her electioneering tent in the fourth central district in Isa Town. Technical innovation and the power of the Internet allowed us to view her speech projected live in Arad.
All candidates emphasised their commitment to the country and their voters. They were also inclusive rather than exclusionary and invited the security forces to vote with their conscience and reminded them that as the ballot is anonymous, then the only other entity with them in the election booth was God. This emphasis was due to the various rumours of the state directing dependents and especially the military and other security forces to vote as directed – to ensure the election of those close to the government’s view, rather than side with its detractors. They even made a short video clip showing a military man in conflict but finally deciding to go with his conscience and vote based on merit rather than direction.
To me, the most important speech was that of the Bahraini thinker, author and intellectual Dr. Ali Fakhro. I was able to record it and represent it here for your pleasure [Arabic]:[audio:101021-Dr-Ali-Fakhro-Speech-In-Waad-Sami-Siyadi-Tent.mp3]
Regardless of how Waad fairs in these elections, and although they are very much ahead of their competition according to the Al-Wasat Newspaper polls, machinations still could happen to keep them away from parliament. But regardless, I think this time particularly they have made a difference. Fielding just three candidates and having an excellent election program and planning the various activities have endeared them to the Bahraini voter and think that they should have a much better chance this time.
[ed: audio added 22 Oct 2010 @ 1057]
Click to listen to Waad’s supremo Ebrahim Sharif Al-Sayid’s speech wrapping up Waad’s 2010 election campaign [Arabic]:
Good luck Waad and every single person honestly contesting the elections. If Bahrain and its unity is on your mind’s eye, then regardless of your personal fortune in these elections, Bahrain wins.