Friday, December 15, 2006

Al-Wefaq Boycott

Today al-Wefaq, the Shi'ite religious party which won 17 of 40 seats in Bahrain's Parliament, boycotted that body's first working session to protest what they see as ongoing disenfranchisement of the island kingdom's poor Shi'ites. Their demands include a new election for speaker of the body and punishment of those implicated in the Bandergate scandal. The presumably pro-government outgoing speaker postponed the first session to Tuesday, stalling the immediate crisis, but Mahmood notes that al-Wefaq is threatening more drastic actions. Let's hope the king decides to try co-opting rather than suppressing the opposition.

(Crossposted to American Footprints.)


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