(MANAMA, Bahrain) -- Crowds in Pearl Square have been small Sunday, as several hundred erected tents, chanted and made speeches - signs that the protesters are prepared to settle in for a long period of negotiations.
Bahrain's rulers seem prepared to settle in as well. After nearly a week of protests, the monarchy may be ready to negotiate with opposition leaders to scale down its near-absolute control.
Although tensions remain following deadly protests and clashes with riot police, streets in the island kingdom have been calmer as efforts shifted toward possible political compromise.
It remains unclear how long negotiations would last. Protesters have made clear that it will take significant change before they leave Pearl Square. Among their demands are a new constitution and either a direct election of government or a parliamentary system that would put the hands of the government in elected officials instead of the monarchy.
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