Bahrain's October 24 and 31, 2002 Legislative Elections
On October 24 and 31, 2002, Bahrain held its first legislative elections in 29 years for a 40-seat lower house of Parliament. The National Democratic Institute for International Affairs (NDI) sent a small study mission to witness the parliamentary election period, and in cooperation and consultation with its local partners, found that the election was generally well administered, with no evidence of fraud in favor of any particular candidate or faction. With 243,449 voters registered, over 50 percent of the population participated in the first round of the elections, with just over 40 percent casting ballots in the second round. No women were elected to Parliament, but in contrast to the May 2002 municipal elections, two women reached the second round of voting. But despite this outwardly positive picture, many issues cloud the background.