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 US Navy’s Fifth Fleet, announced results of the December 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 per cent in the November 24 polls, higher than a turnout of 53 per cent 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 neighbouring 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.