Bahrain holds parliamentary election

AP , Saturday 12 Nov 2022

Bahrain voted Saturday in a parliamentary and local election just hours after hackers targeted government websites in the island kingdom.

Manama, Bahrain
A Bahraini woman casts her ballot at a polling station in the city of Jidhafs, about 3km west of the capital Manama, during parliamentary elections, on November 12, 2022. AFP


The Interior Ministry did not identify the websites targeted, but the country's state-run Bahrain News Agency could not be reached online nor could the website for Bahrain's parliament.

Bahrain's election website could not be accessed from abroad for several hours, though it and the news agency's website later were restored.

``Websites are being targeted to hinder the elections and circulate negative messages in desperate attempts that won't affect the determination of citizens who will go to the polling stations,'' the Interior Ministry said.

Screenshots taken by internet users showed a picture after the hack claiming it was carried out by a previously unknown account called Al-Toufan, or ``The Flood`` in Arabic.

In a statement to The Associated Press, Bahrain said it had been the target of a ``state-backed cyberattack in an attempt to derail the electoral process.'' It did not name the state it believed carried out the attack.

``All systems are operational, and the voting process has not been affected,'' it added.

Bahrain state television aired footage of people voting in the polls, with the state-run news agency describing the election as going ``smoothly'' across 55 polling sites in the country.

The attack happened just hours ahead of the parliamentary and municipal elections in Bahrain. Voters are picking the 40 members of the lower house of Bahrain's parliament, the Council of Representatives.

The parliament's upper house, the Consultative Council, is appointed by royal decree by King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa.

Bahrain has voted in parliamentary and local elections every four years since 2002 after the island became a kingdom.

A banned Shia opposition group and others have called on voters to boycott elections ever since.

*This story wasd edited by Ahram Online

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