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Bahrain king promises expanded parliament powers
Bahrain king promises expanded parliament powers in violence-wracked nation
By The Associated Press

MANAMA, Bahrain (AP) ' Bahrain's king says the strife-wracked Gulf nation will move ahead with political reforms that widen the powers of the elected parliament in overseeing governments selected by the ruling monarchy.

The reforms are part of recommendations that emerged last year from talks between various political and civil groups on easing tensions in the Sunni-ruled kingdom, which has faced more than 11 months of protests by the Shiite majority demanding greater rights.

King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa said Sunday in a televised address that the new powers include approving Cabinets proposed by the ruling dynasty and greater authority to question and remove Cabinet officials.

But Bahrain's main Shiite groups have withdrawn from parliament and boycotted reform talks.

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