Bahrain will Enter New Phase after Biden's Victory and Appointment of Crown Prince as PM

2020-11-24 - 5:12 am

Bahrain Mirror (Exclusive): Bahrain has entered a new phase that can be described as a double change, one at home and another abroad, with the Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden's win in the United States presidency race, death of Prime Minister Khalifa bin Salman and the appointment of Crown Prince Salman bin Hamad in his place.

It is not certain that the internal change is big enough to lead to better developments in the Bahraini arena on the political and human rights levels. The one who died is the Prime Minister, not the King. The King and those under him are still alive and are following the same extreme approach in managing issues internally. However, the demise of the Prime Minister who has been in office for nearly 50 years, and the assignment of the Crown Prince in his place will yield something new, which can be assessed with little time.

The Prime Minister's wing has been exposed following his absence and will recede until its name and main figures become forgotten. Hence, the late Prime Minister;s base of supporters in the Muharraq seems to be an easy catch, since it needs a new sponsor to make it feel reassured, which has already been done by some figures close to the King, whose status rose after 2011.

The Concerns of loyalist groups are currently being fueled, since it's reported that  the Crown Prince is willing to clean up Bahrain's human rights record, and resolve the accumulated issues, especially with the arrival of a Democrat-led administration in the United States, which has a negative view of the performance of the Saudi, UAE, Bahrain and Egypt alliance with the Trump administration, and has a different view on how to manage this relationship.

Messages in the media expressing the concern of those who benefited from the 2011 crisis have increased. They have used well-known faces and other figures as well, such as the video of Jassim Haji's brother Ahmed Jassim, who ended the livelihoods of a number of Gulf Air employees in 2011 and was recently arrested and interrogated on corruption charges. 

These messages, issued by one party, clearly say one thing: the release of prisoners, amnesty for politicians and ending the political isolation imposed on the opposition is not a decision that can be made by any side inside Bahrain, because the decision to remove the opposition is a Gulf decision. Apparently, these messages appear to be aimed at Bahrain's opposition sector to make it more desperate, but in fact they are indirectly telling the Crown Prince: Don't go in that direction.

These groups rely on spreading rumors and instigating fear to get reassurance that the opposition will remain either in prisons or exile, but the elders know that "if it is time for prayer while you are in the mosque, you will have to pray". This means that if the Biden Administration succeeds in overcoming its stormy internal issues, especially resulting from the deep division within the United States, it will then work towards breaking the hardline approach of the leaders of Saudi Arabia and the UAE, thus the political leadership in Bahrain will have no choice but to calm down, solve its issues, and start dialogue with the opposition again.

Perhaps one can dare to say that it is prudent that the opposition on the one hand and the Crown Prince on the other will open the door for dialogue again. Both parties need to communicate and talk starting from now, as this is the nature of politics: communication, initiatives, and speaking openly and clearly.

However, those who are now screaming and who continue to strain the atmosphere are aware that they have to shut up when it is time to pray.

Arabic Version