Protesters demand Bahrain PM’s ouster
DUBAIThousands of Shiite demonstrators in a village near the Bahraini capital demanded the premier’s ouster Dec. 7 in the first officially sanctioned protest since a ban at the end of October.
“Get out, Khalifa!” they chanted, referring to Sheikh Khalifa bin Salman al-Khalifa, an uncle of King Hamad, who was held the premiership of the Sunni-ruled regime in the Gulf kingdom since 1974. “We don’t want an appointed government, we want a prime minister who serves the people,” Sheikh Ali Salman, head of the main Shiite opposition grouping Al-Wefaq, told the crowd.
The gathering was the first to be officially allowed since the end of October when the authorities banned all protests to ensure “security is maintained.” Bahrain’s opposition is demanding that the country’s premier come from the parliamentary majority, and not be appointed from among the ranks of the ruling Al-Khalifa family. Bahrain has experienced unrest since early last year when authorities crushed protests led by the Shiite majority.