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Six opposition groups in Bahrain announce boycotting elections

Bahraini opposition calls for boycotting elections. (Photo by Bahrain Mirror)

Bahrain’s six opposition groups have announced boycotting the parliamentary and municipal elections to be held on November 12.

The al-Wefaq National Islamic Society, Islamic Action Society, al-Wafa'a Islamic Party, February 14 Coalition, Bahrain Freedom Movement and Haq Movement for Liberty and Democracy issued a joint statement, describing the elections as "a sham process that lacks legitimacy and popular representation."

According to Bahrain Mirror, the statement read, “The regime in Bahrain is investing this electoral process for further tyranny, authoritarianism, confiscation of popular will and acquisition of wealth, plundering country's wealth and resources, increasing taxes on people, further normalization with the Zionists, crimes against human rights and incursion of corruption."

The opposition groups reiterated that "all the people of Bahrain without exception are affected and targeted in their livelihoods, freedoms, security and all their rights because of this electoral process, which is arranged by the regime in a way that only suits it."

Moreover, the six groups called on the people - Shias and Sunnis - from all regions and components to boycott the electoral process describing it as farcical.

According to the opposition groups, this moves aims to ”preserve the sovereignty of the country and protect it from corruption, Judaization and elimination of the national identity for the future of Bahrain and its people.”

Back in mid-July, Bahrain’s most prominent Shia cleric Sheikh Isa Qassem dismissed the upcoming parliamentary elections as “a new disaster and calamity” for the country, stating that the polls would only reinforce the Al Khalifah dynasty’s reactionary and oppressive measures and jeopardize the interests of the Bahraini people.

General elections are scheduled to be held in Bahrain on November 12 to elect the 40 members of the Council of Representatives.

Also last month, Sheikh Qassim denounced the Al Khalifah regime’s decision to establish Jewish neighborhoods in the capital Manama, saying it will erase the authenticity of Bahrain, its heritage and nationality.

The Al Khalifah ruling family gave the green-light for establishing Jewish neighborhoods in its capital Manama in a move which could enable granting citizenship to Israelis.

The controversial move almost coincided with the second anniversary of signing the controversial Abraham accords between the Israeli regime and some Persian Gulf Arab countries.

Sheikh Qassem said that the establishment of the Jewish Quarter in Manama “is a replacement for the Islamic and Arab national identity, a distortion of the history of the homeland, an erasure of the authenticity of the original citizens, and the opening of a door to the Israeli occupation with the complicity of local politicians.”

Demonstrations have been held in Bahrain on a regular basis ever since a popular uprising began in mid-February 2011. The demonstrators 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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