TWO candidates running for a parliamentary seat will put family ties to one side when they contest a by-election in Muharraq next month.
Hind Bucheery, the only woman in the fray, is going up against three men - one of whom is her cousin Dr Abdulrahman Buali - for the vacant seat in Hidd.
Sameer Kadhem and Mubarak Mukhaima are the two other candidates hoping to fill the seat vacated by former Al Asala Bloc MP Ghanim Al Buainain after being appointed Minister of State for Foreign Affairs last month.
Ms Bucheery revealed it was a chance sighting of an election billboard that persuaded her to enter the fray at the last minute.
"I arrived from Lebanon after a business meeting and on the way back home saw the election billboard, which made me realise that this is the right time to make it happen," she told the GDN.
A single mother-of-two, if she wins she will become the fifth woman in the 40-member chamber.
"I entered the supervisory centre (Hidd Intermediate and Secondary School for Girls) at the last minute to file my nomination to contest from Hidd," she said.
The 52-year-old civil engineer, who is projects head at Bahrain Airport Services, said she had considered running for parliament since it was formed in 2002, but her commitments made it impossible.
She said her liberal parents backed her decision and stressed it would not be the first time she had been involved in public service, having been involved in Supreme Council for Women campaigns and submitted her views to the National Unity Assembly to be raised at last summer's National Dialogue. Ms Bucheery is also on the board of the Bahrain Society of Engineers and participates in Toastmasters events.
"I strongly feel my work with charities, non-governmental organisations and even on the political front will help me win a seat," added Ms Bucheery.
The by-election will take place on June 16 from 8am to 8pm in Muharraq's constituency eight which consists of 8,128 eligible voters.
If she wins, Ms Bucheery, a yoga enthusiast and a practitioner of the alternative therapy Reiki, will join fellow women Latifa Al Gaoud, Dr Somaya Al Jowder, Ibtisam Hejres and Sawsan Taqawi in parliament.
"The people in my area understand that I am involved in several activities, whether women empowerment or political related, and I hope to reflect the people's need in parliament if elected," she added.
Dr Buali, said he was focused on his own campaign - which includes a proposal to set up a Hidd people's committee to address the issues of constituents.
"My focus will be on housing and infrastructure projects," he said.
The former president of the Bahrain Handball Association and Bahrain Olympic Committee said people should realise they are Bahrainis first.
"Why should we differentiate between a Sunni or Shia?" he asked. "All of us have lived like one big happy family for years and we need to end all this hatred."
Voters can cast their ballots at the Hidd Intermediate and Secondary School for Girls and at two general polling centres outside the constituency at the Bahrain City Centre and Bahrain International Airport.
If no candidate secures more than 50 per cent of the votes, a second round of voting will be held on June 23 for the top two.
Bahrainis from that constituency living or travelling abroad will be able to cast their ballots on June 12 at Bahrain's embassies and on June 19 if another round of voting is required.
For more information, visit the official elections page www.vote.bh or call 17518003.