Democrat Candidate Expelled by Bahrain in 2014 Wins US Elections: Tom Malinowski

2018-11-08 - 7:37 ص

Bahrain Mirror: Democrat candidate in the US elections whom Bahrain expelled in 2014, after meeting members of Al-Wefaq society, won in the elections.

Democrat Tom Malinowski, former U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, defeated New Jersey's 7th Congressional District.

The four-term Republican incumbent, Leonard Lance, lost in a close race to the Democratic challenger, Tom Malinowski, a former State Department official. Malinowski has 50.3% of the vote, followed by Lance with 48.2%.

Bahrain expelled Malinowski in July 2014, accusing him of interfering in Bahrain's internal affairs, following his meeting with Al-Wefaq leaders.

Malinowski served as Director for Human Rights Watch. He joined Senator John McCain in passing a law prohibiting torture. The most prominent points in Malinowski's electoral program are: creating an affordable healthcare program, reforming the tax system and enacting more laws against the acquisition of arms, especially offensive weapons.

Democrats have regained control of the House of Representatives, a momentous win in the midterm elections in 2018, meanwhile republicans expanded their majority in the Senate. Democrats will control the House for the first time in eight years, giving them the ability to deeply complicate the next two years of Trump's presidency with respect to number of issues.

Malinowski served as Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor in the previous Obama's administration. His expulsion from Bahrain in July 2014 represented one of the most prominent tension stations in Bahrain-US relations on the background of the pro-democracy political protests launched in 2011. Bahrain accused him of interfering in its internal affairs after his meeting with members from Al-Wefaq society, the largest opposition society in the country.

The US State Department said the visit was arranged in coordination with the Bahraini authorities, who knew that U.S. officials periodically met with representatives of various political societies.

Malinowski "held meetings with a particular party to the detriment of other interlocutors, thus discriminating between one people, contravening diplomatic norms and flouting normal interstate relations", state news agency BNA reported.

Malinowski was expected to visit Bahrain for three days, and had meetings scheduled with Al-Wefaq, government officials, and a leading human rights activist, Nabeel Rjab. However, he was expelled without accomplishing his mission.

In meeting Al-Wefaq, Malinowski's actions ran "counter to conventional diplomatic norms", the foreign ministry argued.

Despite the diplomatic clash, Bahrain's foreign ministry was quick to note relations with the US remain sound.

"The government of Bahrain asserts that this should not in any way affect the two countries' relationship of mutual interests," according to a statement.

Arabic Version