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Gulf | Bahrain

Rumour mills in full swing about expected Cabinet reshuffle

Hours after the announcement of the parliamentary elections' first round results, rumours about the expected cabinet reshuffle swept the kingdom.

  • By Habib Toumim, Bureau Chief
  • Published: 00:00 November 29, 2006
  • Gulf News

Manama: Hours after the announcement of the parliamentary elections' first round results, rumours about the expected Cabinet reshuffle swept the kingdom.

Al Wefaq Society, Bahrain's largest opposition society, in its constitutional political debut after it boycotted the elections in 2002, won 16 seats.

It hopes to boost the figure in Saturday's run-off polls by winning three more seats through opposition candidates running under the National Democratic Action banner.

But Bahrainis have already started talking about how ministers from Al Wefaq will be appointed to the new government that will be formed early next month.

Al Wefaq leader Shaikh Ali Salman said the government had not made any suggestion about nominating any of its members, but added that he would welcome such a move.

"Giving ministerial portfolios to the opposition will certainly create new bridges of cooperation and understanding between the legislative and executive branches and will have positive effects on Bahrain's political reality," Salman said in a press statement.

The appointment of an opposition figure would not be new in Bahrain. In November 2002 following Bahrain's landmark legislative elections, King Hamad Bin Eisa Al Khalifa appointed Majid Al Alawi, who was formerly living in exile in London, to the post of Minister of Labour and Social Affairs.

According to the rumours, the former health minister Dr Jawad Al Arayyedh would become the deputy prime minister, and Mansoor Bin Rajab would be the next minister of municipalities and agriculture.

But sources close to the incumbent minister Ali Saleh Al Saleh promptly denied the rumour, saying that the veteran politician was not aware of such a plan.

The current justice undersecretary Shaikh Khalid Bin Ali Al Khalifa would be promoted to the post of minister while Dr Ali Al Aradi would be the next health minister.

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