Bahrain: protesters demand king step down

Thousands of protesters gathered March 6 at Manama’s al-Qudaibiya Palace, where Bahrain’s cabinet meets, chanting slogans against the small but strategic Persian Gulf state’s monarchy. Helmeted police with riot shields stood behind the gate, as demonstrators chanted “Down Hamad! Down Hamad!”—a reference to Bahrain’s King Hamad. Another chant was “Hey Khalifa, get out! Get out!”—referring to the prime minister of four decades, Sheikh Khalifa bin Salman al-Khalifa. Protesters also chanted against the 2002 constitution, which established an appointed upper house that has veto powers over the decisions of the elected chamber. “The 2002 constitution falls for the sake of Bahrain,” demonstrators chorused in a refrain that rhymes in Arabic. Bahrain is ruled by the Sunni al-Khalifa family but has a Shi’ite majority, which has been at the forefront of the protests. (Middle East Online, March 6)

See our last posts on Bahrain and the new Arab revolutions.

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