Top Shia Bahraini cleric calls for united action against ‘disastrous’ upcoming polls

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Bahrain’s leading Shia cleric Sheikh Isa Qassim (Photo via Twitter)

Bahrain’s most prominent Shia cleric has dismissed the upcoming parliamentary elections as “a new disaster and calamity” for the Persian Gulf nation, stating that the polls will only reinforce the Al Khalifah dynasty’s reactionary and oppressive measures and jeopardize the interests of the Bahraini people.

Grand Ayatollah Sheikh Isa Qassim said in a statement that the November elections will increase the suffering of the Bahraini nation, consolidate the dictatorship of the ruling Manama regime, and will extend the hardship that people are experiencing.

General elections are scheduled to be held in Bahrain in November 2022 to elect the 40 members of the Council of Representatives.

“Those who believe in Sharia (Islamic law) should not remain silent in the face of this unfair election, which aims to determine the fate of the nation against their will and further marginalize and violate their interests,” the senior Bahraini cleric said.

He added, “Everyone, including those who believe in the justice of religion and claim patriotism, is expected to rise up and denounce this bogus election, which overlooks the rights of the nation.”

Sheikh Qassim then called on all Bahrainis to spare no effort for a clean and fair election, stressing that there should be a vehement opposition and popular protest in case the attempts fail and the final results are rigged.

“The nation must not give anyone the chance to falsely claim that the turnout for the unfair elections would be high, as failure to do so will cause terrible injustice. The Manama regime must welcome fair polls if it has the nation’s best interests at heart, and must stay away from a fraudulent and stolen election determined by misleading media outlets,” he highlighted.

Demonstrations have been held in Bahrain 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 allow a just system representing all Bahrainis to be established.

Manama, however, has gone to great lengths to clamp down on any sign of dissent.

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