A local human rights group plans to appoint a Jew and a Baha'i to monitor the parliament and municipal elections in Bahrain later this year, the Dubai news service Zawya reports.
The Bahrain Human Rights Watch Society (BHRWS) has announced its decision to form a monitoring committee for the 2010 state elections. The panel will be headed by Menashe Cohen and Gada Ehsan.
"We have a team of young volunteers who will monitor the elections and prepare a report. Our society has always backed the rights of minorities and with a Jewish- Bahraini and a Bahraini-Baha'i representing us, we are sending out a strong message of religious tolerance in the Kingdom," Faisal Fulad, BHRWS head said.
Ehsan belongs to the Baha'i community which constitutes approximately one per cent of Bahrain´s population, while Cohen is a senior member of the society and is part of the 47-strong Jewish community in Bahrain.
The elections are expected to be held in October, though no official date has been announced as yet.
BHRWS co-founder and long term serving member Huda Nonoo was appointed by His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa in 2008 as the Bahrain Ambassador to Washington. She is presently the only Arab-Jewish ambassador to hold the top position which she still serves.
Bahrain is one of the most religiously tolerant countries in the Middle East with more than a century-old missionary to promote Christianity, temples, and several other worshipping places.
Citizens from minority groups such as Christians and Jews are represented within the special quota in Parliament and for other leading posts in the state.
In May this year, the Bahraini leadership appointed Ibrahim Nonoo, a Bahraini Jewish, onboard the National Human Rights Authority (NHRA) that addresses human rights issue issues.