Sun Sep 25, 2011
Election results in Bahrain show that more than 80 percent of the electorate refused to vote in the recent parliamentary by-elections in the country.
According to a Bahraini government website, less than one in every five voters cast their ballots in the recent by-elections, Reuters reported on Sunday.
The controversial by-elections were held on Saturday to replace 18 Bahraini lawmakers from the main opposition party, al-Wefaq, who walked out of the parliament in February after security forces opened fire on anti-government protesters, killing and wounding scores of them.
Of the 144,513 eligible voters in 14 districts only 25,130 came out to vote, representing a 17.4 percent turnout, the Bahraini government’s elections website http://www.vote.bh reported.
Voting did not take place in four districts where candidates were running uncontested and automatically won the seat.
Al-Wefaq leader Sheikh Ali Salman said the results showed that Bahrainis rejected the king’s reforms, adding, “There is no such thing as Bahraini democracy. There has to be peaceful rotation of power.”
“If there is no transition, Bahrain will remain in a crisis of security and human rights, this is a historic moment,” he added.
Meanwhile, Bahrain’s King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa is to travel to Riyadh and meet with King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia on Monday to hold talks regarding the relations between the two countries.
Bahrainis have been holding anti-government rallies since mid-February, demanding an end to the Al Khalifa dynasty, which has ruled the country for over 40 years.