MANAMA, Bahrain: The polling for the first parliamentary and municipal elections in Bahrain is underway on Saturday despite a boycott by the Shia opposition.
The elections are the first in the country since a 2011 popular uprising that led the pro-democracy movement in Bahrain.
There are some 350,000 people who are eligible to vote to choose 40 legislators from among 266 mostly Sunni candidates.
The Shia opposition groups have boycotted the elections, saying it is an attempt to establish “absolute rule”.
The main opposition party Al-Wefaq and four other opposition groups have dismissed the electoral process as a “farce” and called for an elected prime minister who is independent from the ruling al-Khalifa monarchy.
A second round of voting will be held next Saturday.