The United States congratulates the people and government of Bahrain on the success of its parliamentary and municipal elections. Voter turn-out was robust at approximately 67% and we understand that the voting procedures were peaceful.
With this election, its third by universal suffrage since 2002, Bahrain has demonstrated that multi-ethnic, multi-confessional societies can address their challenges through peaceful reform and representative institutions.
The United States is committed to supporting this important democratic development in the region. The Kingdom of Bahrain is a valued and strategic ally with a common interest in strengthening participatory democracy. This requires a free and open media, an independent civil society, and a scrupulous respect for the rule of law. We are concerned by efforts in the lead-up to the elections to restrict freedom of expression and association targeted at civil society. We have shared our concerns with the Government of Bahrain and continue to rely on our partners in the Government to meet Bahrain’s own high standards of democratic reform, and to investigate credible allegations.
As the people of Bahrain build on the progress they have made so far, the United States will continue to work with them to ensure that the principles, practices, and institutions of democracy are protected.
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