[QODLink]
Middle East
Bahrain's main opposition to boycott by-polls
Al-Wefaq to stay away from September 24 polls, saying the "parliament does not represent will of the people".
Last Modified: 13 Aug 2011 18:04



Bahrain's main Shia opposition party, Al-Wefaq, will boycott next month's by-elections to replace members pf parliaments who resigned in protest against government crackdown on demonstrators in March, a party official has said.

The party "has decided to boycott the by-elections" to be held on September 24 to replace its 18 MPs who walked out in February, shortly after a month-long anti-government protest began, Khalil al-Marzouk, a party official, said on Saturday.

"Our decision is final. We will not participate in this parliament," Marzouk said, according to a transcription of his address forwarded to AFP by the party.

He said the 40-member parliament had lost its legitimacy since the mass resignation, and "we will not be a part of this parliament as it does not represent the will of the people".

In March, parliament accepted the resignation of 11 of the 18 Al-Wefaq MPs who stepped down after security forces killed seven protesters as authorities in the kingdom ruled by a Sunni dynasty sought to curb protests inspired by uprisings that toppled Egypt's and Tunisia's presidents.

On March 16, security forces drove the mostly Shia protesters out of central Manama's Pearl Square and demolished their camp after King Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifa declared a state of emergency and called in Saudi-led Gulf troops to boost government forces.

The Bahrain authority say 24 people, including four policemen, have been killed in the unrest.

Al-Wefaq also disputes the legitimacy of the upper house of parliament, whose 40 members are appointed rather than elected, and can block initiatives of the lower house.

The party has rejected the outcome of a national dialogue held in July at the initiative of the king to re-launch a process of political reform in Bahrain.

The party had withdrawn from the talks demanding a representative, elected parliament, a fair justice system and security for all in Bahrain.

At least 500 people have been detained in Bahrain since the protests broke out in the Gulf kingdom, according to Amnesty International.

Almost 2,000 people have been dismissed or suspended from their jobs on the suspicion that they participated in the anti-government protests, it said.

Source:
Al Jazeera and agencies
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
'Justice for All' demonstrations swell across the US over the deaths of African Americans in police encounters.
Six former Guantanamo detainees are now free in Uruguay with some hailing the decision to grant them asylum.
Disproportionately high number of Aboriginal people in prison highlights inequality and marginalisation, critics say.
Nearly half of Canadians have suffered inappropriate advances on the job - and the political arena is no exception.
Featured
Women's rights activists are demanding change after Hanna Lalango, 16, was gang-raped on a bus and left for dead.
Buried in Sweden's northern forest, Sorsele has welcomed many unaccompanied kids who help stabilise a town exodus.
A look at the changing face of North Korea, three years after the death of 'Dear Leader'.
While some fear a Muslim backlash after café killings, solidarity instead appears to be the order of the day.
Victims spared by the deadly disease are reporting blindness and other unexpected post-Ebola health issues.