Despite high tension between the Government and Shia political groups based on allegations of planned rigging, voter turnout in Bahrain parliamentary elections was high surrounded by controversy over grant of citizenship to non-Shia groups.
Al-Wefaq National Islamic Society leader Shaikh Ali Salman accused that the Government planned to rig elections and even proclaimed that if the Shias did not win 13 out of the 40 seats, he would consider the elections unfair. Salman also said that the Government granted citizenship to non-Shia individuals to reduce their clout. The Government denies these charges.
The Lower House has a 40 seat membership and there are 207 candidates with 18 women in the fray. There are 40 seats of the Upper House and members to this body are appointed by the King. The King also has the right to veto any legislation.. Simultaneously, Municipal elections are also being held with 171 candidates (with 5 women).