National Dialogue gives parliament right to endorse government

'This decision represents a radical shift in the balance of power, between the democratically elected parliament and the executive branch,' the dialogue spokesman says

Manama: Parliament will have the power to reject the government under a recommendation by the participants in the national dialogue.

"This decision represents a radical shift in the balance of power, between the democratically elected parliament and the executive branch, in a new commitment by Bahrain to concrete reforms,” Eisa Abdul Rahman, the dialogue spokesman, said. “The decision guarantees that the government’s composition and work plan will reflect the will of the people. Under the new proposal, the prime minister will assume the responsibility of selecting the members of his government.”

The government will under the proposal require the endorsement of the parliament before taking up office.

“MPs can vote to reject the entire government and will have the power to reject the government’s four-year work plan,” the spokesman said following the session devoted to political issues.

The national dialogue was launched on July 2 to draw a blue print for Bahrain’s political, economic, social and rights future following the most dramatic crisis in its modern history.

Around 300 Bahrainis representing political parties, NGOs, the parliament, the government, the municipalities, the trade unions, the business community and the media have been engaged in the dialogue.

Al Wefaq, the largest opposition society, pulled out on Sunday, saying that it was under-represented in the national talks and claiming that the dialogue was not sufficiently serious to achieve positive results.

The society said that it preferred to send its visions on the political, social, economic and rights themes directly to King Hamad Bin Eisa Al Khalifa.

However, three liberal societies that had partnered with Al Wefaq during the early stages of the February demonstrations said that they would continue to attend the national debates.

During the talks on Tuesday on the formation of the government in the future, participants agreed that the king should choose the prime minister who will select his ministers, a change from the current situation where the monarch appoints the prime minister and the ministers.

A suggestion to choose the prime minister from the party that has the highest number of votes in the quadrennial elections was rejected on the grounds that it would result in deepening sectarianism, the spokesman said.

Participants could not agree on how long ministers can remain in charge of their portfolios.

Loading...