Bahrain accepts resignation of opposition MPs

March 17, 2011 - 0:0

MANAMA, Bahrain (AP) — Bahrain's parliament on Tuesday accepted the resignations of 11 lawmakers from the Shiite opposition, a sign that the political and sectarian crisis in the island nation is deepening.

The state-run Bahrain News Agency reported the 40-member house approved the resignations of 11 Al Wefaq legislators.
They and seven other lawmakers from the party submitted resignations last month over the deadly crackdown on anti-government protesters in the island nation. BNA said parliament postponed deliberations on the six other resignations.
Bahrain's parliament, the only elected body, holds limited authority. All the country's decisions, including appointment of government ministers, rest with the Sunni monarch.
Bahrain has declared emergency rule to deal with protests that are both sectarian and pro-democracy.
In Bahrain's moves against the protest gatherings, at least 12 people have been killed.
Earlier this month the government invited Saudi-led troops to help quell a month of Shiite-led protests demanding greater freedoms. More than 1,500 troops from the Persian Gulf Cooperation Council entered Bahrain over the causeway that connects it to Saudi Arabia, with the stated mission of helping keep order.
Shiites see the intervention as aimed against them.
On Tuesday, Iran's defense minister, Brig. Gen. Ahmad Vahidi, criticized Bahrain's decision. ""Governments should safeguard people and their independence. They should not invite other countries to assault and kill their people,"" he said.
Quoted by Iran's Press TV, he warned that the region would turn into ""a center for flare-ups, hostility and clashes"" if such ""destabilizing and illegal"" moves continue. He stopped short of threatening direct Iranian intervention.