Bahrain's main opposition quits national dialogue

Reuters News
|
Posted: Jul 17, 2011 9:48 AM

DUBAI (Reuters) - 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, spokesman 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.

(Reporting by Erika Solomon)