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Free Elections, Bahrain’s Only Way Out of Crisis

Tanineyas: Bahrain’s leading Shia figure said the country’s only way out of the current crisis is holding free elections.

Ayatollah Sheikh Issa Qassem made the remark while delivering Friday prayers sermons at Manama’s Imam Sadeq (AS) Mosque on January 10, adding that ceremonial dialogues could not resolve the crisis, Al-A’ahd website reported.

He said dialogues have failed and are likely to be suspended, stressing that elections should be held and an elected government should come to power.

Ayatollah Qassem stated that the government should be acknowledged by people through taking part in a fair election.

The senior cleric also underlined that comprehensive and true reforms are needed in Bahrain in order for the country to get out of the current situation.

He further criticized the Al Khalifa regime’s move to arrest and interrogate Sheikh Ali Salman, secretary general of Al-Wefaq Society.

Ayatollah Qassem stressed that Sheikh Salman has done nothing that violates freedom of speech.

Bahrain has been the scene of demonstrations since mid-February 2011. Thousands of pro-democracy protesters have staged numerous demonstrations in the streets of Bahrain, calling for the Al Khalifa family to relinquish power.

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