Bahrain said on Monday it would hold a parliamentary election on November 24, the state news agency BNA reported, the second ballot since 2011 when mostly Shi’ite protesters took to the streets demanding more democracy.
The 2018 elections come at a sensitive time for the Gulf state as the public finances have been hit hard by a slump in oil prices, with Bahrain’s dinar plunging to its lowest in more than decade.
Tensions with the Shi’ite Muslim opposition have shown no sign of abating with the United Nations and rights groups accusing the government of crushing dissent.
Last May, Bahrain’s parliament approved a bill barring members of dissolved opposition groups from running in elections, the latest step in the political crackdown.
A statement carried by the state news agency BNA called on Bahrainis registered on the 2002 election lists to elect members of the House of Representatives on November 25.
BNA quoted a royal decree from King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa. It also called on candidates running for the House’s 40 seats to apply between Oct. 17 and Oct. 21.
The 2014 elections were boycotted by the Shi’ite opposition over accusations that constituency changes would still favor the Sunni Muslim majority represented by the ruling family