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Bahrain's Parliment Urges Extension of Emergency Laws

Bahrain's parliment asks government to extend emergency laws in place in the tiny island kingdom since protests erupted in March.
By Gabe Kahn.
First Publish: 5/4/2011, 5:51 PM / Last Update: 5/4/2011, 7:36 PM

Bahrain's parliament on Tuesday urged the government to extend the emergency laws that have been in place since riots erupted in the tiny island kingdom a month ago, Gulf News reports..

The three-month extension will promote security and stability in the country following four weeks of political turmoil and unrest, the lawmakers said in the motion submitted to the government.

The State of National Safety, as the security laws are called, was imposed in March by King Hamad Bin Eisa Al Khalifa to aid security forces in restoring order after protesters blocked Manama's main highway bringing the capital to a standstill.

Bahrain's emergency laws, which stop short of imposing martial law and do not suspend parliament, are scheduled to end in June. The lower chamber of Bahrain's parliament, however, asked for an extension, which is required for them to remain in place by the kingdom's constitution.

The lower chamber is made up currently of 22 lawmakers instead of the usual 40. 18 parliamentarians from Al Wefaq, the largest faction, resigned in protest over how the government responded to demonstrations.

Shortly after protests erupted in March the six-member Gulf Cooperation Council, which includes Bahrain, dispatched 1,000 soldiers from its Peninsula Shield at King Hamad's request to assist in restoring order.