Bahraini Opposition to Boycott Elections as There Is No Reform, Senior Cleric Says
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – A senior Bahraini cleric said the opposition insists on shunning the upcoming parliamentary votes because there have been no reforms in the tiny Persian Gulf country.
Sheikh Abdullah Daqaq, representative of the Bahraini Shiite Leader Sheikh Issa Qassem in Iran, told the Tasnim News Agency that the opposition is firm in seeking reforms and will boycott the elections unless real reforms are introduced.
“The wave of arrests still continue, religious and political leaders and figures are still in jail and those sent into exile are still out of the country. There has been no real and tangible change,” he stated.
“…Therefore, participating in the vote will be of no use and the Bahraini nation considers partaking in the polls as betrayal of the blood of martyrs and self-sacrifices of the (opposition activists).”
Daqaq added that the ruling Al Khalifa regime has hit a deadlock as it has gained nothing by cracking down on the nation’s protests.
The cleric reiterated that the noble nation of Bahrain will continue their struggle against the regime until they achieve victory.
Bahrain’s general elections are scheduled to take place next month.
Opposition party al-Wefaq National Islamic Society has said the upcoming vote will be undemocratic and will only give credit to the Al Khalifa rule.
The election will be the first since protests started in Bahrain nearly four years ago.
Since mid-February 2011, thousands of anti-regime protesters have held numerous demonstrations in the streets of Bahrain, calling for the Al Khalifa royal family to relinquish power.
On March 14, 2011, troops from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates were deployed the country to assist the Bahraini government in its crackdown on peaceful protesters.
According to local sources, scores of people have been killed in the Bahraini regime crackdown and many more have been arrested.