Middle East

Narrow Sunni majority in Bahrain parliamentary vote

Voting in Muharraq, Bahrain on 30 October
Image caption A run-off was held in nine districts where no candidate won more than 50% of votes last week

Pro-government candidates have won all nine seats in the second round of parliamentary elections in Bahrain.

The final results give supporters of the country's Sunni-led government a slight majority in the 40-member lower house of parliament.

In the first round vote, Shia opposition group al-Wifaq retained its 17 seats and gained one more.

Seventy percent of Bahrainis are Shias. Many complain of discrimination by the ruling Sunni minority.

The government has been criticised for arresting dissidents and curtailing media and internet freedom in the run up to the election.

Although the kingdom of Bahrain is one of the more democratic countries in the Arab world, the elected members of the lower house - the Council of Representatives - have restricted powers.

The upper house or Shura Council, all of whose members are appointed by the royal family, can and does over-rule the lower house.

Saturday's run-off was held in nine districts in which no candidate had taken more than 50% of votes last week.

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