Why Bahrain Should Start Urgent Political Reform

2020-05-10 - 11:46 p

Bahrain Mirror (Exclusive): No more time can be wasted, as the whole world is moaning under the weight of the next economic recession caused by the Coronavirus pandemic. The wealthiest countries in the Gulf are beginning to recalculate and balance their budgets, including Saudi Arabia and the UAE. What is Bahrain's status?

Bahrain is living in a state of economic crisis and huge public debt, as well as a suffocating political crisis that has lasted for almost a decade without any solution, in addition to a general state of frustration experienced by Bahrainis and the worst relationship with the government that has led the country to a deep abyss, a high cost of living, taxes added to the citizen's burden to cover the state deficit, and an unknown future for the coming generations.

The country is like a patient on his deathbed who needs quick action to be resuscitated before it is too late. It needs a real rise to help it face more of the coming problems because of the Coronavirus pandemic. The aid of the wealthy Gulf neighbors that Bahrain used to rely on in resolving its economic deficit is no longer guaranteed after the crisis that hit the whole world, which didn't even spare the Gulf states. The Saudi Finance Minister stated that his country has not faced such a crisis, and said that revenues will fall significantly and that they will take very strict and painful measures, adding that they must cut expenses sharply.

Bahrain is facing two heavy deficits. The politically incapacitated country will not be able to overcome its economic deficit and there is no way towards economic growth amid a political crisis, public discontent, absence of freedoms, suffocated human potentials, wasted national competencies, thousands of prisoners, hundreds of displaced persons and hundreds of stateless citizens. How can a country that is unable to make use of its human resources and stimulate their inspiration for work and production revive its economic situation?

Instead of spending funds on whatever promotes Bahrain's economic growth and on its citizens so that they could innovate, make accomplishments and change the stagnant situation, the state budget is spent on things the government uses to tighten the grip on its citizens: prisons crowded with political prisoners who cost the state a heavy budget, hundreds of thousands of foreign troops that are annually bought to tighten the grip on the people, a huge defense budget and weapons that exhaust the state budget, hundreds of thousands of cases of political naturalization that deplete the state budget, take jobs opportunities from the indigenous population and take away their chances of acquiring housing opportunities and services, corrupt political elites that plunder the state's money and seize its wealth impoverishing the state treasury. What country can recover economically while living in all this wastage of public funds? 

There is no more time to waste. Bahrain must manage its security and economic policy in a different way, reduce the budget of internal repression and deterrence, and use its security and economic policy to raise the budget of achievement, and serve the advancement of the country. It is necessary now, more than ever, to begin a real reform project, around which all Bahrainis become united, and through which they can unleash their enthusiasm and solidarity to counter the economic deficit, and revive their determination to support the economic situation.

Arabic Version