Bahrain king enacts law on banning candidates from elections

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Bahrain’s king has enacted a law banning members of banned political parties, felons and convicts who later had received royal pardons from standing as candidates for elections.

King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa’s decision Monday effectively blocks Bahrain’s opposition from taking part in parliamentary elections likely to take place in November. His decision was announced by the state-run Bahrain News Agency.

Opposition political parties have been disbanded by court order in Bahrain, part of a wide-ranging crackdown on dissent in the island kingdom off the coast of Saudi Arabia.

Bahrain’s parliament, stacked with government loyalists, earlier passed the law enacted by the king.

Activists have been imprisoned and forced into exile as part of the crackdown.

Bahrain is home to the U.S. Navy’s 5th Fleet and a British naval base.