MANAMA: By-election boycotters were yesterday warned against plotting potential acts of treason and intimidation.
Anyone wishing to abstain from voting should search their consciences, but the full force of the law will be applied to anything more sinister, it was vowed.
This was made clear at a Press conference held by Justice, Islamic Affairs and Endowments Minister and chairman of the higher committee to oversee the integrity of the election Shaikh Khalid bin Ali Al Khalifa.
He stressed that the by-election must be seen as a constitutional requirement to complete parliament numbers so that constitutional life can continue in Bahrain.
There was no imposition on any person to take part or boycott, he added.
Shaikh Khalid said 187,080 would be eligible to cast their ballots - 5,842 more than last time.
The Press conference was held in the presence of committee member Judge Khalid Ajaji and legislation and legal opinions chief and elections executive director Abdulla Buainain.
Shaikh Khalid outlined latest preparations for the election on September 24. "Anyone who wishes to boycott should limit this to their own free will. If it crosses over to campaigns of treason or intimidation, the law will be applied to transgressors.
"History repeats itself. Political societies boycotted the 2002 elections, but corrected that mistake in 2006," said the minister.
He warned that no one should seek to intrude on the will of the voters, whose voice can be used as he wishes. "We count on citizens' awareness at the end of the day."
He reiterated that any security breaches will be firmly dealt with to ensure safety. The will of the voter and his arrival at the ballot box will be safeguarded. Co-ordination will take place between concerned bodies, as happened in previous elections.