World Bahrain holds 1st polls since 2011 protests

Bahrain holds 1st polls since 2011 protests

Supporters of the opposition al-Wefaq movement gather before the poll
Supporters of the opposition al-Wefaq movement gather before the poll

 Bahraini voters went to polls Saturday in the country’s first general election since 2011, amid a boycott by the opposition.

There are 349,713 voters eligible to cast ballot to elect 39 members of parliament and 29 local councilors in Saturday’s vote.

State media in Bahrain reports that a total of 419 candidates are running for parliamentary and municipal seats in the polls.

Any candidates who do not secure more than 50 percent of the vote will head to a runoff a week later.

Shiite opposition groups have called for boycotting the vote , the first since the Gulf country was rocked by protests in 2011, with the government accusing the Shiite Al-Wefaq movement of being behind the unrest.

The opposition movement says it wants to see the adoption of a constitutional monarchy system in Bahrain, along with an elected government.

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