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In protest over recent crackdown:

Shias boycott Bahrain by-elections

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Manama, Sept 25 (Al-Jazeera) -- Main opposition boycotts poll held to fill seats vacated by its members during a crackdown on pro-reform protests.
Sunday, September 25, 2011 3:57:04 PM
Shias boycott Bahrain by-elections

A Bahrain's government source has said just over half of the country's eligible voters cast ballots in by-elections that took place amid a huge police presence and were marred by protests a day earlier, but reports say that the turnout was very low.

The election, which began early on Saturday, was for 18 parliament seats that were abandoned by Shia legislators in protest of a violent crackdown on anti-government protests earlier this year.

Witnesses in Bahrain said Saturday's voter turnout was very light, but state media quoted the prime minister, Prince Khalifa bin Salman al-Khalifa, as saying a "massive" turnout has revealed the willingness of citizens to be partners in building democracy and national unity.

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