Bahrain holds vote to fill seats vacated during unrest

By REUTERS
September 24, 2011 12:30

 
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MANAMA - Bahrainis voted on Saturday to fill parliamentary seats that were vacated by opposition members unhappy over government efforts to address the grievances of Shi'ite Muslims in the Sunni-ruled monarchy.

Shi'ites, who form the majority community in the Gulf state, took to the streets in February to demand more representation and access to jobs and benefits.

At least 30 people were killed, hundreds wounded and more than 1,000 detained in a crackdown on the protesters in which troops were brought in from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

The Wefaq opposition vacated 18 of the 20 seats in parliament and was boycotting Saturday's vote to fill them, saying that subsequent government efforts at reconciliation have not addressed the Shi'ites' grievances.

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