MANAMA: The Bahrain Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI) will hold elections for the 29th term on March 10th 2018, says Chairman of the BCCI Election Committee Jassim Abdulla Al Aál.
The eligible voters of the Chamber will elect an eighteen members new board for four-year term and the Election Committee has resolved to hold fair, free and impartial elections.
This came following the first meeting of the elections committee on Thursday 14th December 2017 presided over by Mr. Jassim Abdul A’al in the presence of the committee members. The meeting elected Mr. Yousif Salahuddin as deputy head of the committee by acclamation, and endorsed the time frame for the elections, discussed forming an auditing committee, probed the procedures for reviewing applications for board membership and forming a grievance committee, and discussed the budget needed for its operation.
In this regard, the head of the elections committee Abdul A’al vowed ensuring a lawful, smooth, and transparent elections process, stressing that the committee will keep BCCI members and the business community informed of the elections process, the nomination start date and requirements, and all relevant information via the various media and communication channels.
It is worth to mention that the third section of BCCI’s executive bye law includes 16 articles regulating the elections process. These are as follow:
Article (48): The chamber’s elections is held under the supervision of an autonomous elections committee formed 90 days prior to the elections process following an order from the board of directors. The committee is to consist of 8 members and a head, and is responsible for receiving and reviewing applications for board membership candidacy and supervising the elections process.
Article (49): The elections committee receives a list of all BCCI members entitled to vote and the number of votes allowed to each according to the capital.
Article (50): The list is to include the name of the member entitled to vote, business type, and commercial address. The list is to be made in a number of copies, with the names of members organized according to membership number. The list is also to be made available on the official website of the chamber.
Article (51): Any BCCI member listed with incorrect data or not enlisted should contact the committee and request amendment no later than two days prior to applying for board membership candidacy.
Article (52): The elections committee makes its decision with regard to the amendments requested within a day time from the request date. It includes or amends the data of the member in the elections list and informs the applicants of its decision with regard to their requests.
Article (53): The head of the elections committee calls BCCI members to exercise their right in voting, and designates the time and venue of the elections. The announcement must be made available in the chamber’s official website and two local newspapers –one of which is Arabic- 15 days prior to the date of the elections.
Article (54): A department from the chamber is responsible for preparing the layout of the elections cards, which should include the Commercial name of the entity and BCCI membership number.
Article (55): The elections committee receives the nomination applications 15 days prior to the designated elections date and seize to receive applications 5 days prior to the elections date, knowing that the committee must review the applications and inform applicants of its decision by Fax or E-mail the day following the application date. Applicants have the right to appeal the committee’s decision two days from the date of receiving the decision by Fax or E-mail, and the committee is to consider the grievance and reply by Fax or E-mail on the following day.
Article (56): The elections committee issues a list of the names of candidate for board membership arranged alphabetically, and have the list made public on the chamber’s official website and two local newspapers –one of which is Arabic- at least one day prior to the date of the elections.
Article (57): The elections committee prepares serially numbered ballot papers and stamps them with the chambers seal and the elections committee seal.
Article (58): Only the voters and organizers of the elections process are allowed into the elections hall.
Article (59): Voting starts from 8 a.m. until 10 p.m., and if there are voters in the elections hall who have not yet cast their votes and wish to do so, the head of the elections committee should allow them and then announce the end of the voting time after the last voter.
Article (60): The elections committee must ensure- prior to the beginning of the voting process- that the ballot boxes do not contain any paper. The committee also ensures the elector’s name is listed in the elections list, marks it, and have the elector sign next to his/her name.
Article (61): After the voting process, the elections committee sorts the ballot boxes, votes with conditions are nullified, so as any ballot paper with the elector’s signature or any mark indicating his/her identity.
Article (62): At the end of the voting process, the elections committee prepares two reports as follow:
1. A report which includes the number of BCCI members entitled to vote, the number present voters, the number of absent voters, the number of accepted ballot papers, and the number of void ballot papers.
2. A report including the names of candidates for the board of directors and the number of votes obtained by each.
And then the committee announces the results.
Article (63): should two candidates obtain the same number of votes, the committee selects by lot.