AFP.com/ Bahrain opposition movement re-elects leader

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SHAFAQNA – Bahrain’s main opposition movement Al-Wefaq on Saturday handed its leader a new four-year stint at the helm of the Shiite group, whose activities have been banned in the Sunni-ruled kingdom.Sheikh Ali Salman, 49, was re-elected at Al-Wefaq’s general congress on Friday night, in a meeting held to comply with a law on associations that led to the three-month ban.

In July, the justice ministry sued Al-Wefaq demanding it rectify its “illegal status following the annulment of four general assemblies for lack of a quorum and the non-commitment to the public and transparency requirements for holding them”.

The Manama administrative court slapped Al-Wefaq with the ban on October 28 and gave it three months to hold an assembly to elect its leaders.

The ruling came after Al-Wefaq announced it was boycotting a parliamentary election in November, the first in the Gulf state since Sunni authorities crushed Shiite-led pro-democracy protests in 2011.

Al-Wefaq, which withdrew its lawmakers from parliament in protest, denounced the vote as a “farce”.

It has called for an elected prime minister who is independent from the ruling royal family.

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