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Bahraini opposition urges ‘political leap’ in push to end dictatorship

Bahrainis demand constitutional reforms and the release of political prisoners during a protest in the village of al-Musalla on July 16, 2021. (Photo from Twitter account of LuaLua TV)

A Bahraini opposition protest movement has underlined the need for “a real political leap” and a new constitution drafted by the will of the people to put an end to dictatorship in the Persian Gulf country.

In a statement released on Saturday, the February 14 Youth Coalition, taking its name from the date when the popular uprising against the ruling Manama regime roared into life, said that any political process that disregards people as the source of power lacks legitimacy.

It also attached great importance to recent remarks by Bahrain’s most prominent Shia cleric Sheikh Isa Qassim about "full political right" and "public sovereignty," noting that the comments provide a ground to end dictatorship and initiate a stable political life.

“Today, Bahrain needs a real political leap and a fresh stage, in which a new constitution will be drafted by the will of the people. The constitution must pave the way for the formation of a new political system," it added.

The February 14 Youth Coalition also said, "The people of Bahrain no longer trust the dictatorial and criminal administration. The successive Intifadas (uprisings) and revolutions in Bahrain are a clear proof that the people will no longer accept the violation of their genuine political rights to form a government which respects principles and values and relies on the religion of Islam in its rulings. Our nation does not accept any solution that is not based on the full realization of political rights.”

The opposition group further underscored the need for a peaceful rotation of power and the drafting of a new Constitution in Bahrain that improves the political and social life of its citizens and respects their will and political right to determine their own fate.

Anti-regime demonstrations in Bahrain have been held on a regular basis ever since a popular uprising began in mid-February 2011.

The participants demand that the Al Khalifah regime relinquish power and let a just system representing all citizens be established.

Manama, however, has gone to great lengths to clamp down on any sign of dissent. The authorities have detained rights campaigners, broken up major opposition political parties, revoked the nationality of several pro-democracy activists and deported those left stateless.

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