The Bahraini opposition figures deplored the parliamentary elections held in the Persian Gulf country on Saturday as a complete sham and said that up to 92% of voters had boycotted the polls in some constituency, rejecting government reports of 67% turnout.
In remarks released on Sunday, Hussain Al Daihi, the deputy secretary general of al-Wefaq National Islamic Society, Bahrain’s main Shiite opposition group, highlighted the “defeat” of the “sham” elections staged by the Al Khalifa regime.
The real turnout in the parliamentary polls is between 28 to 30 percent, he said, adding that a candidate has been elected through winning only 40 votes.
Speaking to the Arabic-language al-Mayadeen TV, Al Daihi said in some districts, 92% of the Bahraini voters had boycotted the elections.
The opposition figure further rejected the Bahraini regime’s reports that the preliminary rate of voter turnout had reached 67%, saying the Al Khalifa regime was dismayed at the low turnout in the elections.
Earlier, Yaqoob Al Naser, a Bahraini political activist, had said that the elections are like a party where only those close to the ruling Al Khalifa regime are invited.
Murad Alhayki, another dissident, said the next parliament would be much worse than the current one, adding that the MPs would only act in line with the government’s will not the people’s desire.
Bahrain’s two main opposition groups, the Al-Wefaq and Waad, were barred from fielding candidates, prompting renewed calls for a boycott.
The polls opened at 8 am local time (0500 GMT) on Saturday and closed at 8 pm.