World

Bahraini Shiite opposition group criticizes election turnout figure, says it lacks credibility

  • A Bahraini boy peaks out from behind a smoking dumpster placed on a street where clashes occurred between police and anti-government protesters on a parliamentary election day in the Shiite village of Malkiya, Bahrain, Saturday, Nov. 22, 2014. Voters in Bahrain cast ballots Saturday in the island kingdom's first full parliamentary election since Arab Spring-inspired protests erupted four years ago, but a boycott called by the country's opposition threatens to overshadow the poll. (AP Photo/Hasan Jamali)

    A Bahraini boy peaks out from behind a smoking dumpster placed on a street where clashes occurred between police and anti-government protesters on a parliamentary election day in the Shiite village of Malkiya, Bahrain, Saturday, Nov. 22, 2014. Voters in Bahrain cast ballots Saturday in the island kingdom's first full parliamentary election since Arab Spring-inspired protests erupted four years ago, but a boycott called by the country's opposition threatens to overshadow the poll. (AP Photo/Hasan Jamali)  (The Associated Press)

  • A Bahraini woman flashes a victory sign on a street where clashes occurred between police and anti-government protesters on a parliamentary election day in the Shiite neighborhood of Daih, Bahrain, Saturday, Nov. 22, 2014. Voters in Bahrain cast ballots Saturday in the island kingdom's first full parliamentary election since Arab Spring-inspired protests erupted four years ago, but a boycott called by the country's opposition threatens to overshadow the poll. (AP Photo/Hasan Jamali)

    A Bahraini woman flashes a victory sign on a street where clashes occurred between police and anti-government protesters on a parliamentary election day in the Shiite neighborhood of Daih, Bahrain, Saturday, Nov. 22, 2014. Voters in Bahrain cast ballots Saturday in the island kingdom's first full parliamentary election since Arab Spring-inspired protests erupted four years ago, but a boycott called by the country's opposition threatens to overshadow the poll. (AP Photo/Hasan Jamali)  (The Associated Press)

Bahrain's leading Shiite opposition group has criticized the government's claim that more than half of registered voters participated in the first full parliamentary election since Arab Spring-inspired protests nearly four years ago.

Opposition groups boycotted Saturday's elections because they accuse the government of failing to enact political reforms in the wake of widespread 2011 protests. The Shiite-majority country is ruled by a Sunni monarchy.

Justice Minister Khalid bin Ali Al Khalifa says 51.5 percent of voters took part in the elections.

Leading Shiite opposition group al-Wefaq said Sunday that figure is "amusing" and lacks credibility.

Bahrain continues to face unrest between a Shiite-dominated opposition and supporters of the Sunni monarchy. The country hosts the U.S. Navy's 5th Fleet and is part of the U.S.-led coalition striking the Islamic State group.