Bahrain’s Council of Representatives has approved a new legislation, preventing members of dissolved political parties from taking part in the country’s parliamentary and municipal elections later this year.
The lower house of the Bahraini National Assembly took the decision during a session n Tuesday. It will effectively affect over 70,000 Bahrainis from contesting in the polls, Arabic-language Lualua television network reported.
Bahraini officials have dissolved opposition parties al-Wefaq National Islamic Society, leftist National Democratic Action Society (Wa’ad) and the Islamic Action Society, commonly referred to as Amal Party), over allegations of “supporting terrorism”.
Thousands of anti-regime protesters have held demonstrations in Bahrain on an almost daily basis ever since a popular uprising began in the country in mid-February 2011.
They are demanding that the Al Khalifah regime relinquish power and allow a just system representing all Bahrainis to be established.
Manama has gone to great lengths to clamp down on any sign of dissent. On March 14, 2011, troops from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates were deployed to assist Bahrain in its crackdown.
Scores of people have lost their lives and hundreds of others sustained injuries or got arrested as a result of the Al Khalifah regime’s crackdown.
On March 5, 2017, Bahrain’s parliament approved the trial of civilians at military tribunals in a measure blasted by human rights campaigners as being tantamount to imposition of an undeclared martial law countrywide.
Bahraini monarch King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifah ratified the constitutional amendment on April 3 last year.