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Bahrain Hold Elections

  • VOA News

Hundreds of Bahrainis head to the streets for an unauthorized flash march to show their support for an opposition-called boycott of Saturday's parliamentary and municipal elections after midday prayers in Diraz, Bahrain, Friday, Nov. 21, 2014.

Hundreds of Bahrainis head to the streets for an unauthorized flash march to show their support for an opposition-called boycott of Saturday's parliamentary and municipal elections after midday prayers in Diraz, Bahrain, Friday, Nov. 21, 2014.

Residents of Bahrain are voting Saturday for the first time since a 2011 pro-democracy uprising.

However, opposition groups, including al-Wefaq - the country's most popular Shi'ite group - are urging supporters to boycott the polls.

Al-Wefaq has dismissed the electoral process as a "farce" and warned that failure by the kingdom's rulers to loosen their grip on power could trigger a surge in violence.

Candidates are running for municipal and parliamentary seats. A runoff election will be held in a week for any candidate who does not win more than 50 percent of the vote.

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