The people have spoken.
The Sheikhs, knowing best, had the last word.
And the best laugh.
A good performance in all.
The military band also played in the two intermission:
It's gonna be a bright (bright), Sun-Shiny day.
We were promised sun-shiny days before. Last Sunday must be one of them. 22 of the sunniest of the sunny were in. So sun-dried, you had to call a friend to be sure you are in the right humid country. Yes, there there were Saudi voters, Egyptian judges and 38 thousands of newfound Bahraini souls sourced from dry elsewheres, but no, no cruel, wry joke is involved. It could be your throat that is dry.
Al-Ahd was the first to sum up the cruelly funny joke: Al-Wefaq and Waad had 91000 voters, leading to 18 seats. Al-Asalah and Al-Minbar had 40000 voters, leading to 22 seats. Even your math teacher would call the above a system of inequalities. Take a stab at solving them. Parliament is the solution you said? But try not to lose sight of the stabbingly funny punch.
With 50%+ 2 between them, Al-Dharani, Al-Buainin and Salah Ali, are now the wielders of public trust, setters of parliamentary agenda for 4 more years, and our representatives to the rest of the solar system. You can die of laughter.
In normal times, an election night is called a democratic wedding. (As there is a golden cage involved). Except that the groom himself did not show up for the ceremony. (Might be busy with arrangements. Or that the bride is coming anyway into the golden cage). Only his caring uncle did. With a careful smile for two. Or the three exchanging self-congratulatory cables one week in advance, knowing best.
It wasn’t originally conceived this way. But the symbolic conception of the general polling stations proved truly immaculate. Imagine the queues of voters as a passing unwitting caravan. Imagine your men on horsebacks wittingly awaiting and baiting them behind the hills. And you can easily imagine coming back with the spoils of the easy and quick battle, waving your flags high.
But in these anything but normal times, election is war by other means. And other plans. Well researched, rehearsed and made ready for D Day. You don’t have to go to Sandhurst to know that exposed mass troop movement is suicidal. And that you have to rely on combined arms, cover and concealment to do the trick. But you may need Sandhurst to appreciate that force employment is critical to victory. In battles of bullets or ballots alike.
The rest of the play, sorry the plan was easy. You need a highly mobile rapid deployment force. With an alliance with a high morale civilian reserve for shoring up town defenses. With clear strategic objective from high command: to neutralize every enemy attempts to cross from its Zone A. And deny him, at all cost, any beachhead into Zone B. (Zone C is completely liberated and secure).
The performance was exemplary. By the morning of the 25th, a frontal advance, across 10 km front and 25 km deep all the way to Muharraq, was already in full swing. A flank encounter with al-Wasat camera squad in the southern sector was reported, capturing megabytes of USB ammunition. Later and under the cover of darkness, special forces landed, enemy beachheads were cleared, the canal was crossed, Bar-Lev line was seized, Fakhroo fell. Three others towns besieged.
Victory, on voting day, was finally at hand.
It has been said, quite unfairly (by no less than a first page headline in Al-Waqt) that political Islam now wields total control of the new Majlis. This is about as fair as saying that liberals such as Abdul-Rahman al-Nuaimi and Yousif al-Harmi have lost the selection. Mixing apples and bad oranges.
The fault line lies elsewhere. There 18 of those who are friends and family - though not necessarily as self-sacrificing- of the jailed, the tortured, the exiled and the excluded; and 22 of those who were either safe from it and/or are friends and family of men carrying out the jailing, the exiling and the excluding, though not necessarily as contentedly so.
If in doubt, just ask Adel Fleifel. He would have no trouble voting any of the 22 in. He, and his not so immediate bosses, must be laughing their heart out. And singing with the band too.
You can see clearly now, the rain is gone,
you can see all obstacles in your way
Here is the parliament you’ve been praying for
It’s gonna be a bright (bright), bright (bright)