Sheikh Ali Salman, Al Wefaq Secretary General, has said that the expelling of a top US official from Bahrain last week has proven what a sham any talk of reform is, including of the coming elections. Speaking during a Ramadan gathering on Saturday night he said, “The elections battle ended last week,” adding, “By expelling the U.S Assistant Secretary, the regime has shown what a sham these elections are.”
Bahrain’s next parliamentary elections are due to take place later this year, but the opposition societies have maintained that unless a serious program of reform is begun, that they would not participate. Salman said there had been a small chance that the authorities could have convinced observers that Bahrain has reformed, but the expelling of the diplomat and subsequent targeting of opposition leaders for questioning has made that impossible.
Addressing a political dialogue with the authorities, Salman said, “cosmetic attempts at dialogue have been exposed in front of the world.” He added, “We will not allow for another case of political manoeuvring. The people are well aware of the situation, and the opposition can differentiate between reforms and political manoeuvring. We want to participate in the forming of our government.”