Bahraini clerics have denounced the planned parliamentary elections as “a sham,” saying such a vote in a kingdom, which has stripped a majority of its people of their basic rights, will fail to deceive the world’s public opinion.
In a statement carried by Arabic-language Lua Lua TV network, the clergymen highlighted the Manama regime’s oppressive policies against the entire Bahraini nation, including the majority Shia Muslims as well as the Sunnis.
They said the Al Khalifah regime “cannot fool anyone in the world” by holding “fake” and “unacceptable” elections.
The ruling system in Bahrain, the statement said, is based on denying people their rights, undermining the role of their lawmakers and suppressing the kingdom’s political majority.
The clerics also called for a boycott of the elections slated for November 24.
Casting votes in next month’s elections would amount to “oppression against the Muslim nation,” the statement read, urging people to continue their resistance in the face of the Manama regime’s campaign of suppression against critical voices.
Bahrain’s main Shia opposition group, the al-Wefaq National Islamic Society, which was dissolved by the ruling regime in 2016, has already announced a boycott of the polls.
Shia opposition parties similarly boycotted the 2014 elections and described them as a farce.
Since February 2011, Bahraini people have been holding peaceful protest rallies regularly, demanding that the Al Khalifah family relinquish power and let a just system representing all Bahrainis be established.
They have also been complaining against widespread discrimination against the Shia majority in the kingdom.
Manama has responded to the demonstrations with an iron fist. The authorities have detained human rights campaigners, broken up major opposition political parties, revoked the nationality of several pro-democracy activists and deported those left stateless.