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Bahrain Elections Boycotted by 2nd Biggest Shia Party

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TEHRAN, Aug 10 (ICANA) – The second biggest Shia party of Bahrain boycotted the forthcoming parliamentary elections of the country.
Wednesday, August 10, 2011 11:27:33 PM
Bahrain Elections Boycotted by 2nd Biggest Shia Party

According to Alwasat newspaper published in Manama, the in-charge of political affairs of the Wa’d Party of Bahrain, Radhi Musawi said the Bahraini government’s measures such as ignoring demands of opposition parties in the national dialogue sessions, perpetuation of arrest of opponents and deprivation of thousands of opponents of employment and education have left adverse impacts on any kind of election activities. This election will help intensify and deepen religious and tribal differences, he added.

Musawi said  the central committee of the Wa’d party has decided not to attend the parliamentary by-elections because instead of examining  the political crisis caused as a result of objections to the election constituencies, election law and also resignation of 18 Shia deputies,  the government is holding the elections . These elections not only do not help resolve the political crisis in the country but instead will aggravate it, he said.

WA’D PARTY

The Wa’d Party with the full name of “National Democratic Action Society” was set up in September 2001 with the motto of establishment of equity and democracy in Bahrain.

Wa’d party is among most important Shia parties in Bahrain. Activities of the party were suspended by the Bahraini government some time ago but it resumed activities later. Its leaders and members have actively participated in the recent protests in Bahrain.

 

BAHAIN PARLIAMENTARY BY-ELECTIONS

The by-elections are to be held in late September due to the resignation of 18 members of the Wifaq Shia party. As a result of this development, 18 out of 40 seats of the parliament became unoccupied.

Members of Wifaq party, the biggest Shia group in the Bahraini parliament, had resigned in protest to the suppression of Bahraini protesters. The party is to announce its final position on participation in the elections or boycotting it next week.

Protests which started in Bahrain about five months ago still continue. Protesters demand formation of cabinet by the majority in the parliamentary elections, removal of discrimination between Shia and Sunni Muslims, reform of election laws and cessation of organized granting of Bahrain nationality to Sunni nationals of other countries.

Although Shia Muslims comprise the majority population of Bahrain, the Sunni Al-Khalifa family holds all key positions.

Bahrain ruler, Hamd Bin Isa Al-Khalifa, held the national dialogue committee last month to review the demands of protesters but they considered the results of national talks fruitless.

BAHRAIN PARLIAMENT

Bahraini bicameral legislature (National Council of Bahrain) consists of the Consultative Council (40 members appointed by the King) and the Council of Representatives or Chamber of Deputies (40 seats; members directly elected to serve four-year terms).

Parliamentary elections are held every four years. The first parliamentary election in Bahrain was held in 2002 and the latest in November 2010.

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