Statement on the second round of parliamentary election in Bahrain

The holding of the second round of parliamentary and municipal elections in Bahrain on 29 November is a positive achievement, as is the significant participation of Bahrainis. These first full parliamentary elections since the dramatic events of 2011 are an important step for the advancement of the necessary reforms in Bahrain, including those needed to sustainably respond to the legitimate grievances of all segments of Bahraini society. It is all the more unfortunate that a number of political societies decided not to take part.

A few days after the third anniversary of the publication of the Report of the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry, Bahraini political actors are now presented with an opportunity to engage in renewed genuine efforts to achieve national dialogue and reconciliation, in a spirit of shared responsibility in the interest of all Bahrainis.

It is the EU’s hope that recent statements expressing readiness on all sides to open a new chapter of Bahrain’s political development will bear fruit. In this context, all parties should show the leadership and willingness to compromise that is needed to resolve remaining issues.