Ali Al-Aswad: The Speaker of the Bahraini House of Representatives Said It

2023-02-22 - 7:42 p

Bahrain Mirror (Exclusive):  We listened to the words of the Speaker of the Bahraini House of Representatives, Ahmed Al-Musallam, who impressed us with his meager leadership - of what is supposed to be the People's House - a statement made in an attempt to intimidate MPs, live on air, to put an end to any possibility of discussing the concerns of the public and the needs of the people because to them, they are secondary matters or don't even fall within the specialty of the house, despite the fact that this speech lacks any political effectiveness.

We know that what changes over time and between cultures are the strategies through which these needs are fulfilled. It is important to understand the needs of the human being as a system - that is how they are interconnected and interacting and not separated or measured by special desires as they are in most Arab systems - and Bahrain is not an exception. What the Speaker of the House of Representatives said expresses the opinion of the influential pillars of the Royal Court and the political decision-makers in the state. It is the desire not to hear any voice opposing major politics or what is known in political science as fateful decisions that often need a vote or legitimization by the people, similar to the referendum on Brexit. Although five years have passed by with all the negative outcomes, the government is in a comfortable position because the decision was taken by the people, ratified by the parliament, and then signed by the late Queen Elizabeth II without opposition.

As for the decisions of the authorities in Bahrain, those in charge are far from being held accountable and their decisions evaluated even by the people's representatives - noting our disagreement on the evaluation of the experience - after the authorities imposed collective punishment on the opposition and the approval of the parliament through the legislation of a law that prevents the opposition from participating in political life, known as the Isolation Law.

"Since the resignation of the Al-Wefaq parliamentary bloc to this day, we have never heard of the questioning of a minister or an investigation committee that guarantees the inherent right of the parliament, which is oversight and accountability, and before them, legislation." This is what a European diplomat who has been following the Bahraini scene closely for many years told me for the purpose of evaluating government performance which is directly linked to the National Assembly.

Those who follow the performance are fully aware that there is no use of continuing to work with the House of Representatives, and that the government lives in its own world, and the two houses in another, which is confirmed by a great deal of evidence, the most important of which are the high prices of consumer goods, the increase in fees and taxes, and the government's inability to find alternatives for the people and country's public interest. This is regarding political and livelihood issues. As for political, social and human rights affairs, there is no room for limitation, as the official complexity of the scene increases the chances of chaos in the legislation and administrative system of the state, reflecting negatively on the lives of citizens, which we all observe as a people and government on the ground, even if the government does not declare it through its platforms or official statements.

Let's forget about the words of the head of intimidation, who was brought and placed in his post and let's go to the heart of the constitution, which states in its first article that "The government system in the Kingdom of Bahrain is democratic, sovereignty being in the hands of the people, the source of all powers. The system of government rests on the separation of legislative, executive and judicial powers while maintaining cooperation among them in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution. None of the three powers may assign all or part of its powers to another power. However, limited legislative delegation for a particular period and on specific subject(s) is permissible, whereupon the powers shall be exercised in accordance with the provisions of the Delegation Law." Here, the scene becomes clearer: the people have no real power and there is no way to cross the executive and judicial powers through the executive mechanisms of the parliament, and even the demand to restore the prestige of the National Assembly was considered a far cry in the wilderness.

What we do know is that the current parliament is the weakest. This parliament stresses the importance of reconsidering the whole experience and may lead us to a historic milestone, which is its abolition and the transfer of financial resources allocated to it for the benefit of service ministries to provide health care, education and services to all people.

Finally, we recall what the great philosopher Aristotle said: "Democracy is when the indigent men, and not the men of property, are the rulers".

Arabic Version