Email: [email protected] Opposition plays coy on poll stance By SANDEEP SINGH GREWAL BAHRAIN’S opposition groups continue to play coy about their participation in next month’s elections, just days before the opening of candidate registration on Wednesday. Al Wefaq National Islamic Society, the Democratic Progressive Tribune and the National Democratic Action Society all maintain that they intend to boycott the elections, set to be held on November 22. Yet a final announcement on the subject is not due to be made until Saturday, when all five opposition groups will hold a meeting to decide whether their boycott should go ahead. “Our society’s decision is based on the political situation in the country over the past three-and-a-half years and we do not see much change,” said Democratic Progressive Tribune secretary Al Wefaq rally illegal THE Interior Ministry has announced that a planned rally by Al Wefaq National Islamic Society today is not authorised. Al Wefaq intends to organise a march from Duraz to Saar starting at 4pm and has urged its general Abdulnabi Salman, who told the GDN that they had not even drawn up a provisional list of candidates to contest the polls. “If individuals want to participate then we will not stop them from doing so, as it is within their political and constitutional rights.” National Democratic Action Society deputy secretary general Radhi Al Mousawi said his society still intended to boycott the polls, but that this decision was “subject to change”. “The five societies (including Al Ekha National Society and the National Democratic Assembly) will sign a final statement that will explain our stance on Saturday,” he said. The opposition boycott of this year’s elections was first announced in May, based on the government’s alleged failure to deal with several issues including ending the political crisis, redefining electoral districts and vesting parliament with more powers. Last month, His Royal Highness Pakistan School principal is suspended after complaints A TOP official of a leading expatriate school in Bahrain has been suspended pending investigations into alleged irregularities. The Pakistan School issued a suspension notice to principal Muhammad Akram following complaints from faculty members, students and parents. However, school chairman Muhammed Ilyas Khan did not want to reveal details of the ongoing probe. “We would not like to comment on this or disclose the allegations because an investigation has been launched,” he told the GDN. “A committee comprising board members will look into the allegations and decide on By RAJI UNNIKRISHNAN the next step. “We have notified the Education Ministry as well as the Pakistan Embassy on this – we have sent them copies of the letter. “Parents have also been notified through a circular, while an acting principal has been appointed who will take care of Mr Akram’s official duties.” However, Mr Akram told the GDN that he has filed a lawsuit against the school for suspending him without providing an official explanation. “I was only given a suspension letter, which doesn’t tell me the reasons for my suspension,” said the 46-year-old. supporters to take part. However, the ministry said legal action would be taken against any violators of the law. “I have filed a case in the urgent court as well as the labour court against this unfair action.” Pakistan Embassy officials met the school board yesterday to discuss the issue. “The embassy has a limited role in the school’s affairs according to the school constitution and hence we can only advise both parties to peacefully resolve the issue,” said embassy community welfare attache Maqsood Shah. “Based on the meeting, there is a committee formed which includes present and former board members who will look into the case and decide further.” The GDN reported in August Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, Crown Prince, Deputy Supreme Commander and First Deputy Premier, outlined an action framework that seemingly met some of these demands – including the redistribution of electoral districts, revised measures to ensure parliament can question actions of ministers and new rights of approval for parliament on Cabinet appointments. However, for Mr Al Mousawi this may be a case of too little, too late. “The official side does not want to give opposition groups more than these five points,” he said. Meanwhile, Al Wefaq spokesman and former MP Sayed Jameel Al Kadhem said yesterday that his society had not yet changed its mind about the prospect of a boycott. Candidates who want to contest next month’s elections only have until October 19 to register an interest. [email protected] n A notice displayed at the school entrance announcing Mr Akram’s suspension that the school board faced a shuffle following the resignation of four of its seven-member board. Former chairman Muhammed Ahmed Asif, Shah- jahan Khan, Ghulam Mustafa and Feroza Khan resigned citing “disappointment” with the school system. Education Ministry officials did not respond yesterday. Gulf Daily News Friday, 10th October 2014 3 Walkathon to raise cancer awareness MORE than 2,000 people are expected to take part in a walkathon that aims to raise funds for and awareness of cancer care at Al Ghous Corniche in Muharraq today. Organised by the Bahrain Cancer Society (BCS), the annual ‘Run, Walk 4 Cancer’ event coincides with World Breast Cancer Awareness Month and is designed to remind people of the importance of early detection. Route Participants in the walkathon face a 5.3km route, with the event getting underway at 5.30pm. It will start from the Muharraq side of the corniche and will be followed by live performances from 6.30pm. A sale will also be held to raise funds. Registration is open from 4pm to 5pm and costs BD2, including a T-shirt and a ticket for a raffle draw that will be held at 6.45pm. For more information, contact event organiser Adnan Al Qassab on 39132102. Activist to go on trial over Twitter posts OPPOSITION activist Nabeel Rajab will stand trial for allegedly insulting two government institutions. He was arrested over Twitter posts that claimed security services were responsible for the emergence of Bahraini extremists who joined the radical Islamic State (IS) group in Iraq and Syria. The Public Prosecution concluded its investigation yesterday and transferred the case to the Lower Criminal Court, where Mr Rajab is due to appear on October 19. “An investigation has been concluded in a complaint filed by the Interior Ministry and Defence Ministry against a person who published insulting comments towards both ministries,” read a Public Prosecution statement. “He claimed people from these institutions were joining terrorist groups abroad and claimed these institutions have a terrorism ideology.” Drive highlights effects of drugs n Bahrain resident Paige Baker has been named the winner of singing competition The Vocalist. She received $1,500 at the finale of the show, held at the Crowne Plaza Hotel’s Harvesters venue. Runners-up were Cherryl Sanchez and Trixie Lamenero, who were presented with $1,000 and $700 respectively. Above, Ms Baker, front row second from left, with other winners and organisers. A CAMPAIGN to raise awareness about substance abuse and drug trafficking was held at Seef Mall. The event, organised by the mall in collaboration with the Interior Ministry, was attended by Capital Governor Shaikh Hisham bin Abdulrahman Al Khalifa. It aimed to teach people about the dangerous effects of narcotics and alcohol abuse on the physical well-being.
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