Bahraini Opposition Drops Reservations about Proposed Reforms
The main Bahraini opposition group said it dropped its reservations about proposed reforms to restore an elected parliament, which are to be put to a referendum next week, reported the BBC.online Saturday.
It decided to do so after opposition leaders met Emir, Sheikh Hamad al-Khalifa, and were given reassurances about the roles of the elected and appointed chambers of parliament, and about the freezing of emergency laws, said the news service.
In light of this development, opposition exiles in London have also withdrawn their opposition, and are now urging Bahrainis to vote "according to their conscience."
On Thursday, Bahrain's opposition called for a "no" vote in next week's referendum on a national charter to restore parliament and turn the Gulf emirate into a kingdom.
In the run-up to the referendum, the emir declared a general amnesty on Monday, releasing on parole 289 political prisoners and allowing the return of 108 exiles, and urged the opposition figures to return to the country.
The Shiite-led opposition has long agitated for the restoration of an elected parliament, which was launched in 1973, but dissolved two years later for "obstructing" the government.
Unrest between 1994 and 1999 cost at least 38 lives -- Albawaba.com
© 2001 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)
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