Bahrain Mirror (Exclusive): King Hamad bin Isa Al Kahlifa reassigned on Sunday (December 2, 2018) to his uncle Khalifa bin Salman the task of forming the government.
Khalifa bin Salman (83 years) has officially been the Prime Minister since 1971. This makes him the longest-serving PM, as he has been in his post for 47 years. If he completes his new four-year term years, he will hit a record of 51 years; which reflects the "democratic reality" in Bahrain.
Khalifa bin Salman has been assigned 11 times to preside and form the government since the independence. The 11 decrees assigning him to preside over the government were issued in 1971, 1973, 1995, 1999, 2002, 2006, 2010, 2014, 2015 and 2018, seven of which took place since King Hamad assumed his post.
Although many of the PM's powers are given to the first Deputy Prime Minister, Crown Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, it is clear that the king will maintain the cohesion of the family by re-assigning his uncle time and time again until his demise, or until he voluntarily "renounces" his position. In both cases, none of his financial interests or that of his children would be affected.
Under the Constitution in force, the King enjoys the authority to appoint the Prime Minister (his uncle) and exempt him from office by Royal Order, as well as appoint the ministers and exempt them from office by decree, upon his uncle's request. It's like running a household. It is funny every time seeing the press write that Khalifa bin Salman will conduct consultations to form the government. Whom is he going to conduct consultations with?
In democratic countries, the leader of the party winning the largest electoral bloc is tasked to form the government- rather than the king's uncle- then begin consultations with the leaders of the parties that won the elections, with the aim of forming a government from an alliance that genuinely emerged from the people's votes in accordance with a constitution written by an elected constituent assembly, based on a fair and popularly accepted electoral system, as a result of transparent and fair elections.
This is how democratic measures are carried out in free nations. However, the tribal democracy in Bahrain, in which the Prime Minister shall reach 50 years in his position, is an abnormal situation that is only welcomed by stakeholders at home and abroad.
King Hamad bin Isa re-appointed his uncle for the seventh time to say that there is no place for change; that the unity of the ruling family is more important than that of the nation and people; that democratic change has no place in the island kingdom, and that only death can make a change in the system of tribal governance.
Khalifa bin Salman was re-appointed to affirm that the popular voice has no effect, the ruling family is above the nation and people, the Constitution is merely a cape, and that the universal standards of freedom for people to choose their rulers and governments are not applied in this region, including Bahrain. Hence, Khalifa bin Salman will remain in his post, against the will of the ruling family members who detest this situation, and how about the people of Bahrain, as they are merely subjects of the ruler!