231 independent monitors to observe Bahrain’s Election 2018
4 NGOs and the NIHR will help promote the integrity and transparency of the elections
Supreme Council for the General Supervision of the Soundness of Elections keen to cooperate with civil societies
A total of 231 people have applied to act as independent monitors for the Bahrain Election 2018.
The monitors represent four NGOs -- Bahrain Transparency Association (BTA), Bahraini Jurists Society (BJS), Bahrain Public Relations Association (BPRA), and Bahrain Human Rights Watch Society (BHRWS), in addition to the National Institution for Human Rights (NIHR).
The Supreme Committee for General Supervision of the Soundness of Elections is now processing their registrations. It said it appreciated the work of the civil societies in monitoring past elections, and was keen to cooperate with them to promote the integrity and transparency of the electoral process and ensure the rule of law.
Electoral monitoring covers all stages of the election process. Monitors will examine the conduct of candidates, political societies and other civil institutions to ensure they abide by electoral laws.
They will also monitor the conduct of voters, citizens and individuals in regard to abiding with electoral laws, and will observe the use of places of worship and use of religious discourse to promote candidates or disparage others. They will also monitor any other violations considered punishable according to the relevant laws.
The announcement comes as a result of a September 30 order by the Supreme Committee that called for Elections National Monitoring to be built on field-based supervision of the electoral process, with data collected objectively, neutrally and impartially to ensure electoral procedures were applied properly, and any violations noted.
The Supreme Committee asked civil societies wishing to participate to submit applications for registration by November 5.
Electoral Monitoring Process
Monitors will notarise the results and conclusions of their observations, including facts and supporting evidence. They must avoid relying on unverified information, testimony or statements when assessing the conduct of the electoral process.
Monitors will record the names and times of their visits to constituencies, and refrain from comments about their observations that are unproven or based on personal criteria for media or other persons involved in electoral affairs � their comments will be limited to information related to their work as a monitor.
Rules and Ethics of Electoral Monitoring
Monitors should have knowledge of the laws, rules and directives relating to the electoral process, so they may perform their monitoring work professionally, objectively and with awareness.
They should respect the sovereignty of law, and be in full compliance with the laws, regulations and directives covering the elections. They should be fully impartial in performing their work, and not express any differentiation or bias to any of the authorities, political societies, candidates or any other controversial subject related to the electoral process.
The monitor should not wear or display anything that demonstrates any political affiliation, whether a slogan, writing, colours or posters.
Monitors should also refrain from political campaigning, such as carrying or displaying any symbols relating to any candidate.
They should carry out their work quietly, without any personal intervention that would obstruct the electoral process or influence the ballot or counting process.
They must not perform any action that could prevent or impede members of the ballot or counting committee from exercising their roles.
Monitors are not authorised to give instructions or statements, directly or by implication, on cancellation or curbing the decisions of competent election authorities. They must carry their identity document at all times and identify themselves to concerned authorities if asked.
They must disclose the constituency in which they vote, and whether any of their relatives is a candidate or has a direct concern in the election process. They shall not give advice, consultation or guidance to voters. They are prohibited from influencing the freedom of voters on ballot day, or asking them about their choice before or after the ballot.
Source: Bahrain News Agency