World

Bahrain Shiite opposition group says it will boycott upcoming November parliamentary elections

  • Sheik Ali Salman, leader of the main Shiite opposition group Al-Wefaq, explains why his and other opposition groups are refusing to participate in upcoming elections at a press conference in Manama, Bahrain, Saturday, Oct. 11, 2014. Opposition leaders announced Saturday that the Al-Wefaq society and four smaller groups will boycott the Nov. 22 parliamentary and municipal elections in the Gulf island kingdom. (AP Photo/Hasan Jamali)

    Sheik Ali Salman, leader of the main Shiite opposition group Al-Wefaq, explains why his and other opposition groups are refusing to participate in upcoming elections at a press conference in Manama, Bahrain, Saturday, Oct. 11, 2014. Opposition leaders announced Saturday that the Al-Wefaq society and four smaller groups will boycott the Nov. 22 parliamentary and municipal elections in the Gulf island kingdom. (AP Photo/Hasan Jamali)  (The Associated Press)

  • Sheik Ali Salman, leader of the main Shiite opposition group Al-Wefaq, explains why his and other opposition groups are refusing to participate in upcoming elections at a press conference in Manama, Bahrain, Saturday, Oct. 11, 2014. Opposition leaders announced Saturday that the Al-Wefaq society and four smaller groups will boycott the Nov. 22 parliamentary and municipal elections in the Gulf island kingdom. A Bahraini flag is seen at left. (AP Photo/Hasan Jamali)

    Sheik Ali Salman, leader of the main Shiite opposition group Al-Wefaq, explains why his and other opposition groups are refusing to participate in upcoming elections at a press conference in Manama, Bahrain, Saturday, Oct. 11, 2014. Opposition leaders announced Saturday that the Al-Wefaq society and four smaller groups will boycott the Nov. 22 parliamentary and municipal elections in the Gulf island kingdom. A Bahraini flag is seen at left. (AP Photo/Hasan Jamali)  (The Associated Press)

  • Sheik Ali Salman, leader of the main Shiite opposition group Al-Wefaq, explains why his and other opposition groups are refusing to participate in upcoming elections at a press conference in Manama, Bahrain, Saturday, Oct. 11, 2014. Opposition leaders announced Saturday that the Al-Wefaq society and four smaller groups will boycott the Nov. 22 parliamentary and municipal elections in the Gulf island kingdom. A Bahraini flag is seen at left. (AP Photo/Hasan Jamali)

    Sheik Ali Salman, leader of the main Shiite opposition group Al-Wefaq, explains why his and other opposition groups are refusing to participate in upcoming elections at a press conference in Manama, Bahrain, Saturday, Oct. 11, 2014. Opposition leaders announced Saturday that the Al-Wefaq society and four smaller groups will boycott the Nov. 22 parliamentary and municipal elections in the Gulf island kingdom. A Bahraini flag is seen at left. (AP Photo/Hasan Jamali)  (The Associated Press)

Bahrain's main opposition Shiite group formally has announced it will boycott the country's upcoming November parliamentary elections.

Bahrain has been roiled by more than three years of political unrest and protests led by the tiny Gulf kingdom's majority Shiite Muslims, demanding greater rights and equal treatment from the Sunni-led monarchy.

In a news conference Saturday, Al-Wefaq and three other groups in the National Democratic Opposition Parties said they will boycott elections because they say the government has not engaged in genuine reconciliation efforts. Al-Wefaq leaders previously warned on numerous occasions they would boycott.

Al-Wefaq withdrew its 18 lawmakers from the 40-seat lower house during the height of the unrest in 2011. The Nov. 22 elections are the first since protests erupted.