Review of House of Representativesí Work in 1st Session: Zero Achievements

2019-05-17 - 4:25 am

Bahrain Mirror (Exclusive): The first session of the fifth legislative round of the Shura council and House of Representatives ended on Wednesday (May 15, 2019) on King Hamad's order. What did the House of Representatives achieve during this time?

The House of Representatives concluded its session by approving to reduce the council's capacities with regards to raising questions to government members. According to the new amendment on the rules of procedures, the authority has the right to reject the question.

Following the House of Representatives' work during the 6-month period, one can say that it failed to adopt laws that were in the interest of citizens as well as monitor the performance of the government in a manner that limits administrative corruption or financial wastage, from which the government suffers.

On the contrary, the Parliament approved deducting BD 230 million from the Unemployment Fund to finance the voluntary retirement program despite the popular opposition to the law submitted by the government.

The Parliament also approved deducting 1% of citizens' salaries from the fund that has been allocated to support the unemployed or those who have lost their jobs.

Bahrainization

The Labor Ministry claims that the unemployment rate is only 4.5% while people concerned with economics say it is more than 15%. Thousands of university graduates suffer from unemployment in the country, while the government employs foreigners.

"The government has vowed in its program to reduce the percentage of foreigners from 16% to 1% after the voluntary retirement program, but the percentage of foreigners in the government increased to 28%," said MP Ahmed Al-Salloum.

Although the Parliament formed a commission of inquiry on Bahranization, it began to stumble from the early days of its formation. Three MPs resigned from the commission, while its president, Ibrahim Al-Nafaie, supported the hiring of 274 Saudi teachers in Bahraini schools, at a time when thousands of Bahrainis are waiting in queues to find jobs.

This is not the only failure the House of Representatives made, as it has called off the interrogation of the Minister of Health, Faeka Al-Saleh. It approved the recommendation of the Interrogation Examination Committee stating that the questioning of the minister is "not a serious" matter, a measure taken by the Bahraini Parliament unilaterally.

Towards Normalization

The House of Representatives failed to reflect the popular rejection of the government's accelerated steps towards normalization with Israel. While Bahrainis condemned Foreign Minister Khalid bin Ahmed Al Khalifa's stance supporting Israel on the sidelines of the Warsaw conference, the House of Representatives expressed support for the government's stance.

The Council's Foreign Affairs, Defence and National Security Committee issued a statement in which it adopted the Government's view regarding the Middle East conflict considering Iran the obstacle in the face of peace, not Israel.

The House of Representatives has made little effort to obstruct the participation of an Israeli delegation in the Entrepreneurship Congress that was hosted the Tamkeen Fund in mid-April.

Anonymous Statement

With regards to the political and security crisis witnessed in the country, the House of Representatives issued an anonymous statement condemning the fact that some of its members had visited Sayed Abdullah Al-Ghuraifi.

About a week before the statement, Prime Minister Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa visited Sayed Al-Ghuraifi to spread optimism and even if only a partial easing of the crisis that is ravaging the country and that has left thousands of Bahrainis either killed, detained or on death row.

Instead of working to abolish the death penalty, the House of Representatives approved a legal amendment that expands its use, while the world is striving to put an end to it. The amendment to the Penal Code included punishing throwers of Molotov cocktails by the death penalty.

No one expected the House of Representatives to be better than its precedent, especially since the elections were conducted in harsh security atmosphere, which limited the participation of loyalist groups, in addition to the adoption of laws of political isolation that prevent opponents from running in elections and voting.

 

Arabic Version

 



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