MANAMA: Opposition group Al Wefaq's leadership was last night accused of taking 'instructions' from a prominent Shi'ite cleric.
Sources told our sister paper Akhbar Al Khaleej that Al Wefaq's decision to boycott next month's by-elections followed directives from Sheikh Isa Qassim rather than the political leadership, most of whom were in favour of taking part.
A political activist, who wanted to contest the elections as an independent, said he met secretary-general Sheikh Ali Salman and asked him if the society planned to take part - since he did not want to stand against an Al Wefaq candidate in his constituency.
Sheikh Ali Salman said Al Wefaq would definitely take part.
The activist said that the group's boycott decision was not acceptable to many of the members, especially since MPs represented a source of income for the society - each MP contributed BD200 a month.
However, he expected Al Wefaq to back supporters of its political views to win seats in parliament.
He also pointed out that everyone was surprised by the boycott decision as it contradicted with what the society's secretary-general had declared earlier.
Therefore, the announcement by the group's secretary Khalil Al Marzooq on Friday that the boycott decision followed the society's withdrawal from parliament due to the deteriorating political and security situation was an attempt to cover up the party that instructed Al Wefaq to take such a stance, he added.