News24

Bahrain's main opposition quits talks

2011-07-17 19:18

Dubai - Bahrain's largest Shi'ite opposition group Wefaq said on Sunday it planned to pull out of a national dialogue set up by the government, which aims to heal divisions and offer reforms after mass pro-democracy protests rocked the Gulf island kingdom earlier this year.

"The Wefaq board decided to pull out of the so-called National Consensus Dialogue and submitted its decision to the Wefaq Shura council [upper council] for ratification. The Wefaq team will not attend today's [dialogue] session," Khalil al-Marzouq, spokesperson for Wefaq, told Reuters.

Wefaq had complained for weeks the opposition had been given too small a fraction of seats - 35 out of 300 - and was overpowered by pro-government representatives. The government says it distributed seats in a way that was representative of Bahraini society.