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Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 17 November 2018

Bahrain to hold elections on November 24

Country's monarch urges citizens to take part in 'free, fair and transparent' vote
A supporter of King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa carries the monarch's photo while driving at a pro-government rally in Manama, Bahrain in 2011. Amy Leang / The National

Bahraini voters will go to the polls on November 24 for the second time since unrest broke out in 2011.

King Hamad, who issued an election decree at a cabinet meeting on Monday, encouraged citizens to participate in “free, fair, transparent” elections.

Under the constitution, 40 citizens will be elected to the Council of Representatives. They will be joined by 40 royal appointees to Bahrain’s upper house, the Consultative Council.

Citizens can apply to run for the 40-seat lower house between October 17 and 21, Bahrain News Agency said.

The lower house has the authority to examine and pass legislation proposed by the king or cabinet, and monitoring powers.

But the Consultative Council, appointed by the king, has the power to block legislation by the lower house.

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Bahrain receives pledge of support from GCC peers to help its economy

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Bahrain’s economy is struggling but it will receive help from its Gulf neighbours, Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Kuwait.

In June, Bahrain’s credit risk rose the most among emerging markets the central bank’s foreign exchange assets dropped.

Bahrain has been introducing a reform programme and development projects that will require new legislation.