National Organizing Committee Chairman of IPU Session in Bahrain Never Been Elected in His Life

Jamal Fakhro, First Deputy Chairman of the Shura Council
Jamal Fakhro, First Deputy Chairman of the Shura Council

2023-03-09 - 3:01 p

Bahrain Mirror: Why did the Bahraini government hand over the chairmanship of the National Organizing Committee for the 146th session of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) General Assembly to the Shura Council, which is appointed by the King, and not to the nominally elected parliament?

How will the world's parliamentarians, the majority of whom are elected by their people, be convinced that Bahrain has a real democracy by handing over the presidency of the organizing committee to Jamal Fakhro, the first deputy chairman of the Shura Council, noting that he was never elected in his lifetime!

First and foremost, Jamal Fakhro is the antithesis of the notion of democracy, as he is one of the long-term appointed members. His heavy shadow has been cast over the Shura Council seat for more than a quarter of a century, since the establishment of the first Shura Council in 1992 in the era of the former Emir to this day. 

He has never attempted to run in a single election and never approached people, addressed them or defended their interests. His only role is uselessly babbling in the Shura Council and then approving all decisions and proposals presented by the government.

He does not know the people at all, nor has he ever represented them, and he has never represented anything other than the government and its repressive policies. When the security forces were surrounding Diraz and harassing its people and the Shia spiritual leader, Ayatollah Sheikh Isa Qassim, he continued to mock their deaths and their pain by sending a pornographic photo of model Jailyne Ojeda to a WhatsApp group of the members of both councils with a misogynistic caption that read: "Dedication to those trapped in Diraz."

Throughout the 2011 crisis, he was one of the prominent faces of the government and its mouthpiece on satellite channels that defended its repressive security policies, including his defense of the revocation of the nationalities of Bahraini dissidents, their expulsion from the country by exile or their imprisonment.

Fakhro was born with a silver spoon in his mouth. He inherited a huge fortune from his father, who was called "half of the world" due to his excessive wealth. By means of his inheritance, he founded the KPMG Fakhro Company, through which he has been acquiring many audit tenders for state ministries, bodies, and accounts, for a long time.

He has never been a popular choice at any point in his life, and he is a striking example of the son of an upper class family, whose interests intersect with the government and together they form an oligarchic minority alliance to stand in the face of the people's demands and aspirations for a life based on partnership and democracy.

Even when it comes to formalities, the government did not give any regard to the nominally elected parliament, whose outputs it manages, as well as its speaker, members, whoever wins seats and the quotas of its committees. If the government had the slightest respect for the Council of Representatives, the chairmanship of the National Organizing Committee for the IPU General Assembly session would have been granted to the Council of Representatives Bureau, the deputy speaker or his/her representative, to at least pretend in front of international parliamentarians that we have a parliament.

The world's parliamentarians, the majority of whom are elected, will come to Bahrain and Jamal Fakhro will be the first face they'll meet. Fakhro, who has never been elected. He has spent 3 decades of his life in his position in the Shura Council, either appointed by an emir or by the king. What a democracy this is!

Arabic Version