Bahrain’s main opposition quits national dialogue

July 18, 2011

Al Wefaq Islamic Society on Sunday said that it was pulling out of the national dialogue, the talks launched to help overcome Bahrain’s worst crisis in modern times.

The society attributed its decision to recommendations by its delegates to the talks launched on July 2.

“The dialogue will not result in a radical political solution to the Bahraini crisis,” the society said. “The outcome is ready-made and will compound the political situation in the country,” the society said.

More than 300 people, representing all segments of Bahraini society, had been invited to the dialogue addressing political, economic, social and rights themes.

Delegates from political parties, NGOs, the parliament, the business community, trade unions, the government, pro-women’s rights groups, the media and municipal council as well as social and religious figures have been addressing several topics under the four themes.

However, Al Wefaq, which signed to join the talks only hours before they were formally opened, has been insisting on a wider representation on the grounds of its size. It has requested to have its delegates debate only political issues, claiming they were the key to solving all divergences.

“We have tried to rectify the procedures of the dialogue, get actively involved in the agenda and influence the outcome, but we could not do it despite our serious attempts,” Al Wefaq said.

“We have not been able to influence the results of the dialogue and we believe that our presence was marginalized even though we have a massive presence among the electorate,” the society said.

However, the final decision by Al Wefaq will be announced on Monday after the politburo holds a special meeting on the issue.

Dialogue organisers had earlier said that the talks would continue even if some participants chose to pull out.



About the author

Born August 3, 1960 in Monastir, Tunisia
Media career:
  • ABC News (Tunisia)
  • Bahrain Tribune
  • Gulf News
  • Bahrain Television News
Teaching career:
  • Monastir (Tunisia)
  • University of Bahrain
  • MA  Mass Communications, University of Leicester
  • BA  in English & US literature and studies, University of Tunis

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