Bahrainis vote in second round of parliamentary election

Gulf island state has been in political turmoil since mass protests broke out in February 2011 demanding more democracy
Bahrainis vote in second round of parliamentary election
Bahraini election officials wait at a deserted polling station at Dana mall, in the village of Sanabis, west of the capital Manama, as the Gulf kingdom holds the second round of municipal and legislative elections. (AFP/Getty Images)
By Reuters
Sun 30 Nov 2014 10:42 AM

Bahrainis voted in the second round of a parliamentary election on Saturday, a poll boycotted by the tiny Gulf monarchy's Shi'ite-led opposition which accuses the government of gerrymandering and says parliament lacks powers.

Voters have returned to the polls in 34 of Bahrain's 40 constituencies for the parliament, which has limited direct powers in a country where ultimate decision making resides with the Sunni Muslim Al Khalifa family.

Al Wefaq, the main opposition group which has widespread support among the country's Shi'ite majority, said on Oct. 11 it would not take part, citing parliament's lack of powers and what it said were constituency boundaries that favoured Sunnis.

Bahrain has been in political turmoil since mass protests broke out in February 2011 demanding more democracy before they were put down by the security forces. Small demonstrations have continued in Shi'ite areas.

A second round of voting was needed in constituencies where no candidate secured more than half the votes last week. Bahrain said participation in the first round was 53 percent.

Bahrain, an ally of fellow Sunni monarchy Saudi Arabia and home to the US Fifth Fleet, accuses Shi'ite Gulf power Iran of stirring up unrest and says it has made many reforms since 2011. Iran denies those charges.

For all the latest GCC news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.

Subscribe to our Newsletter

Subscribe to Arabian Business' newsletter to receive the latest breaking news and business stories in Dubai,the UAE and the GCC straight to your inbox.