Bahrain Mirror (Exclusive): SALAM for Democracy and Human Rights issued a report on the occasion of the International Day of Democracy. In its report, Salam sheds light on the reality of democracy in Bahrain and the extent to which its people enjoy basic rights, including political rights related to democratic life. It concluded that Bahrain lives a difficult situation of absolute monarchy, which is in no way related to democracy.
The report stressed that "Democracy is not a slogan or vague description given to any country, but a program for managing the affairs of government that is based on firm and solid foundations to apply the rule of law from its source (the people), that enables them to feel a true partnership in managing the state. These full rights are indispensable to all people of the world."
If democracy is defined as rule by the people or rule that is based on popular sovereignty, which is based on "the people as the source of authority," then a government in any country is not democratic unless it is founded by the consent of the people. A legitimate government is obtained from the free will of the people and through true partnership, starting with the drafting of a constitution and a referendum on it, passing through the parliamentary elections to elect the people's representatives in a legislative authority with popular oversight from elected representatives in parliament for the actions of the government, i.e. the executive authority, and also with the independence of the judicial authority administratively and financially, in order to complete the elements of popular legitimacy for these three authorities.
Matching Bahrain's reality with democratic standards, the report concluded that "There is no democracy in Bahrain, the rule is tyrannical and violates the basic freedoms and the treaties it has ratified, and violates the basic principles of democracy such as the peaceful transfer of power and the people's right to elect the government, with sham elections for parliamentary and municipal councils lacking powers, with any opposition barred from running or voting
"Legislative authority has been detailed so that the king guarantees that all laws issued are not contrary to the policies of the government. The constitution was drafted by a unilateral will, the people do not have the right to formulate a consensual, contractual constitution or vote on it, and its articles are set on the basis that all powers are in the hands of the king," it added.
The report explained that "The authorities refuse to hold political dialogue with the opposition to reach national reconciliation. Opposition political parties have been dissolved; their money arbitrarily confiscated. Members of the ruling family cannot be prosecuted or held accountable. The media is nationalized and there is no free or independent press and expressing opinion to criticize the authorities is criminal. The authorities violate human rights in a widespread and systematic manner and prosecute activists with laws that violate international laws and treaties."