Bahraini Opposition Highlights Low Public Turnout in State-Run Elections
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – The Bahraini opposition said voters' turnout in the country's boycotted state-run parliamentary and municipal elections was very low, adding that unlike government figures at best 30 percent of eligible voters have cast their vote in the elections.
The turnout figure in parliamentary and municipal elections will not exceed 30 percent since 80 percent of those who voted in the elections were among military forces and the employees of Al Khalifa ruling regime, Bahrain Mirror quoted the opposition groups as saying.
According to the report, opposition groups also emphasized that they would never accept the figures released by the Bahraini government.
Earlier, Bahrain's Justice Ministry had said turnout for parliamentary elections was 51.5 percent while that for the municipal elections was 53.7 percent.
“We will never accept the government statistics, because these are figures announced by the regime and no international organization has monitored the polls,” the secretary general of Bahrain’s main opposition party, al-Wefaq National Islamic Society, Sheikh Ali Salman said on Saturday.
The opposition groups had boycotted the parliamentary elections on Saturday, and also conducted an anti-regime referendum across the Persian Gulf island from Friday to Saturday.
The Bahraini monarchy has been ruled by the Khalifa dynasty since 1783, in a country where the Shiite Muslim community accounts for nearly 70 percent of the entire population.
Anti-regime protests have been underway in Bahrain almost on a regular basis since 2011.
The protesters demand the establishment of a democratically-elected government and an end to the regime crackdown.
Scores of people have been killed and many others put behind the bars in the Saudi-backed clampdown during the past three years.