December 2, 2018 / 12:49 PM / in 14 days

Bahrain cabinet tends resignation as per post-election rules

DUBAI (Reuters) - Bahrain’s cabinet on Sunday tendered its resignation to King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa as required by law after last week’s parliamentary elections from which the opposition was barred.

Authorities in the Gulf Arab state, home to the U.S. Navy’s Fifth Fleet, announced results of the Dec. 1 election runoffs earlier on Sunday. The cabinet resignation statement was later carried by the state Bahrain News Agency.

The government has said voter turnout was 67 percent in the Nov. 24 polls, higher than a turnout of 53 percent in 2014 when opposition groups boycotted elections in the Sunni Muslim-led, Western-allied kingdom.

Activists had called for a boycott of this vote, describing it as a “farce”, amid a crackdown on dissent by the ruling Al Khalifa family since it quashed a Shi’ite-led uprising in 2011 with the help of neighboring Saudi Arabia.

Since then, the island state has kept a lid on dissent, closing opposition groups, barring their members from running in elections and prosecuting scores of people, many described by human rights groups as activists, in mass trials.

Bahrain accuses Iran of fomenting unrest. Tehran denies the charges.

Reporting by Maher Chmaytelli and Nafisa Eltahir; Editing by Raissa Kasolowsky

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