Bahrain: Elections, But No Civic Space

As Bahrain holds parliamentary elections on 12 November 2022, the government retains its long-standing ban on the opposition parties that used to compete in elections prior to 2011. The government has banned al-Wefaq, the Shia-led party that has won the most seats in the history of Bahrain’s current parliamentary system, Amal, a Shia opposition party that competed with al-Wefaq, and Wa‘d, a non-sectarian opposition party. These three parties oppose the 2002 constitution, which the ruling family issued unilaterally in 2002, but sought to change it by participating in the electoral process. The banning of parties which have peacefully sought to change the system of government by legal means such as participating in elections is a flagrant violation of the right to freedom of association.

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