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Bahrain votes amid calls for election boycott

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Bahrain votes amid calls for election boycott


Bahraini voters are heading to the polls in the country’s first parliamentary elections since the Arab Spring, amid calls for a boycott.

Shia opposition groups set up protest polling stations to reject the vote.

The main opposition group, Al Wefaq claims the parliament would not have enough power and said that voting districts favoured the kingdom’s Sunni Muslims.

The group won 18 out of 40 parliamentary seats in the 2010 election but pulled out of parliament during a crackdown on largely Shi-ite Muslim protesters during the demonstrations in 2011.

Reconciliation talks were revived earlier this year but broke down over the prosecution of opposition members.

Despite the boycott, many polling stations were busy in the mostly Sunni Riffa district south of Manama.

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