Bahrain opposition to boycott elections

Written by  Published by:Shiite News
Published in Middle East
Saturday, 13 August 2011


shiitenews Bahrain opposition to boycott electionsBahrain's main opposition bloc says it will boycott parliamentary elections to replace the opposition lawmakers who resigned in protest to Manama's crackdown on anti-government protesters.

Eighteen Bahraini lawmakers from the main Shia opposition party, al-Wefaq, walked out of the parliament in February after security forces opened fire on anti-government protesters, killing

The Bahraini government has barred those lawmakers who resigned from running for the by-elections but said al-Wefaq can nominate new candidates. 

According to Bahrain's Justice Minister Khaled Bin Ali Al Khalifa, the first round of vote to fill the 18 vacant seats in the lower house of parliament (Council of Representatives) will be held on September 24 and the second round on October 1. 

Recently released former opposition lawmakers Jawad Fairooz and Matar Matar, who were detained in May soon after losing parliamentary immunity, said they had been tortured in prison. 

Meanwhile, thousands of Bahraini anti-government protesters rallied near the capital upon a call by al-Wefaq. 

Demonstrators called for equality and liberty in the country. They also demanded an elected government and an end to regime discrimination against the opposition's overwhelming majority. 

Bahraini protesters have vowed to continue their protests until they achieve their ''legal demands''. 

"> and wounding scores of them. 

"We decided to boycott because we are no longer convinced of the authority of this parliament," Reuters quoted Khalil al-Marzouq of al-Wefaq as saying on Friday. 

The Bahraini government has barred those lawmakers who resigned from running for the by-elections but said al-Wefaq can nominate new candidates. 

According to Bahrain's Justice Minister Khaled Bin Ali Al Khalifa, the first round of vote to fill the 18 vacant seats in the lower house of parliament (Council of Representatives) will be held on September 24 and the second round on October 1. 

Recently released former opposition lawmakers Jawad Fairooz and Matar Matar, who were detained in May soon after losing parliamentary immunity, said they had been tortured in prison. 

Meanwhile, thousands of Bahraini anti-government protesters rallied near the capital upon a call by al-Wefaq. 

Demonstrators called for equality and liberty in the country. They also demanded an elected government and an end to regime discrimination against the opposition's overwhelming majority. 

Bahraini protesters have vowed to continue their protests until they achieve their ''legal demands''. 

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