Bahrain's Minister of
Information Affairs Ali bin Mohammed al-Rumaihi said
that Iran and its supporters have tried to obstruct the recent parliamentary
and municipal elections through many boycott calls.
Rumaihi said in an interview with German dpa that the boycott calls supported by Iran were not limited to the period before the elections, but also extended to the polling day, when Bahrainis receive tens of thousands of e-mails claiming that their names were deleted from the lists.
He added that people have demonstrated great awareness, as the turnout was the largest in the political history of Bahrain.
The minister deplored the fact that some people still doubt the existence of Iranian interventions in Bahrain, despite the documented evidence and condemnation of these interventions by the Gulf, Arab and Islamic organizations. He also explained that the Bahraini security authority managed to detect some networks and terrorist cells associated with Iran, and to submit formal complaints to the United Nations and regional and international organizations.
Bahrain's cabinet tendered its resignation to King Hamad in December after the kingdom successfully completed elections for a new parliament and municipal councils.
Prime Minister Prince Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa announced his cabinet's resignation after Justice Minister Sheikh Khalid bin Ali Al Khalifa, who heads the Supreme Elections Committee, announced the final results, the Bahrain News Agency reported.
The kingdom held a runoff vote on Saturday for 31 parliamentary seats and 23 municipal seats that were not decided in the first round of voting on November 24.
Sheikh Khalid said the elections were notable for the greater participation of women and youth and increased voter scrutiny of the candidates. There were 41 women among the 293 candidates for the 40-seat Council of Representatives, and about 200 standing for council seats.
“Bahrain is living a new chapter in democratic development. The electoral process is moving beyond the stage of experience," the minister said in remarks reported by BNA.
Election authorities said about 67 percent of the eligible voters took part in the parliamentary election and about 70 percent in the municipal elections.
However, rights groups and activists have criticized the process after two main opposition groups - the Shiite majority Al Wefaq and the secular Waad movements - were barred from running by the courts.
Bahrain's new parliament and government will be installed at a crucial time for the island nation as it seeks to revive its stalling economy and attract foreign investment while dealing with concerted attempts by Iran to foment unrest.
Bahrain has held elections in 2002, 2006, 2010 and 2014.