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Sec. Clinton statement on Bahrian elections

Bahrain Election Day

Screen shot 2010-10-22 at 9.58.05 AM  Americans aren't the only folks eagerly awaiting upcoming elections. On Saturday, Oct. 23, Bahrainis will go to the polls to vote in this country's parliamentary elections. It's only the third time elections have been held in Bahrain, which is a constitutional monarchy -- a rare gem among Persian Gulf (aka Arabian Gulf) nations.

More than 100 people including a handful of women are vying for 40 Member of Parliament (MP) seats in the Lower House (The Upper House, or Shura Council, is appointed by the ruling Royal Family). The streets of Bahrain are a sea of colors and sounds, from campaign posters, banners and campaign speeches broadcast from minarets. Many neighborhoods have election tents or outdoor theaters, where citizens can meet the candidates, ask questions and debate the issues. The world's eyes are on Bahrain's elections. It's an exciting time to be in Bahrain!

The elections have been overshadowed by recent news events in Bahrain, which I'm not going to get into here. But if you're curious, you can easily read up on the issues at Google News. For more information on Bahrain's elections, check out this informative article on BBC News.