Opposition parties in Bahrain say they will boycott parliamentary and municipal elections, scheduled to be held in October.
The National Democratic Opposition Parties said in a statement on Saturday that that they are not taking part in the elections without a “clear political” agreement “reflecting the will of the people.”
“The National Democratic Opposition Parties in Bahrain announced they are to boycott the coming Parliamentary elections unless a clear political agreement is reached,” said the statement released following a meeting at the headquarters of the al-Wefaq National Islamic Society, the country’s main opposition party.
“These elections must produce an elected government reflecting the will of the people, an independent judiciary and a security services that reflect Bahrain’s diversity.”
“The opposition will work on developing the peaceful popular struggle for democracy,” the statement noted, adding, “We will stick to political activism that is based only on peaceful principles and continue to reject all and any violence.”
Since mid-February 2011, thousands of pro-democracy protesters have held numerous demonstrations in the streets of Bahrain, calling for the Al Khalifa royal family to relinquish power.
On March 14, 2011, troops from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates invaded the country to assist the Bahraini government in its crackdown on peaceful protesters.
According to local sources, scores of people have been killed and hundreds arrested.
Physicians for Human Rights says doctors and nurses have been detained, tortured, or disappeared because they have “evidence of atrocities committed by the authorities, security forces, and riot police” in the crackdown on anti-government protesters.