18 Bahrain MPs Resign in Protest Over Killings

Opposition Demands Ouster of Regime Amid Brutal Crackdown

by Jason Ditz, February 17, 2011

Nearly half of Bahrain’s Council of Representatives, all 18 members of the opposition resigned today in protest of the overnight attack on civilian protesters by security forces, which left six dead, several hundred wounded, and tanks rolling through the capital city’s streets.

The opposition al-Wefaq party also demanded the full resignation of the government and its replacement with a freely election government. As in Jordan, the monarch appoints all the meaningful government positions, while the only elected positions, in the Council of Representatives, are comparatively powerless.

But while the resignations started with the Shi’ite opposition, they didn’t stopped there. Even some members of the ruling government, despite its cheerful support of the attack on the unarmed civilians today, have announced their resignations.

The protesters had initially just called for reforms and free elections, but say that in the wake of the killings they can no longer accept the current US-backed regime’s rule during a transitional period. As with all the other cases of violent crackdowns recently, the killings appear to have made the protesters only more determined to see meaningful change.

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