Manama: A series of recommendations by Bahrain’s parliament for tougher legal action against those who incite or carry out acts of terror drew mostly praise among the country’s leaders and several political formations.
“This step by the parliament is highly responsible and we look forward to seeing the recommendations implemented through close cooperation between the legislative and executive branches to protect society from acts of terror,” Crown Prince Salman Bin Hamad Al Khalifa said. “We do reiterate our full commitment to implement the directives of His Majesty the King to deal with all current national issues and to overcome challenges and obstacles at all levels. Bahrain needs the efforts of all its men and women to tackle present and future challenges and to boost the progress of the national through constructive dialogue aiming to achieve reforms and progress,” he said.
In a separate statement, Prince Salman, who has been visiting Ramadan majlises almost every evening to interact with the people, said there could be no room for compromise on the country’s unity.
“We must move forward in assuming responsibilities to ensure the safety of our national values upon which the nation’s achievements have been built. We will not give up our unity and cohesion and we leave no room for sedition and terrorism to undermine our security and stability and to stall our reforms,” the Crown Prince said.
On Sunday, the elected lower chamber and the appointed upper chamber of the bicameral parliament held a historic common session and issued 22 recommendations in a reinvigorated drive to “put an end to acts of terror and sabotage”.
Stripping Bahraini terrorists of their citizenship, banning rallies in the capital Manama and enacting tougher punitive laws were among the 22 recommendations drafted by the parliament and endorsed by King Hamad Bin Salman Al Khalifa after they were submitted to the royal palace.
The move by the parliament was taken days after a car blast at the parking lot of a mosque in West Riffa rattled the country and prompted an international outcry.
“We need to preserve social peace and to confront all those who target the society’s cohesion and unity,” Crown Prince Salman said. “We do encourage serious efforts to reinforce trust between the various segments of the Bahraini society and to establish a common ground and points of converge that should help with a sustainable political and social stability,” he said.
Prime Minister Khalifa Bin Salman Al Khalifa said that the government would “implement the recommendations that supported efforts to combat terrorism”.
“The government will take the appropriate measures to put the recommendations into practice promptly,” he said. “The executive and legislative branches stand together in the fight against terror and there is strong determination to uproot terrorism and violence. Neither has a place in the peaceful Bahraini society, and we will protect social peace and national unity from their risks through tougher laws that will be strictly applied.”
Al Wefaq, the country’s largest opposition society, stressed its “adhesion to the peaceful character” of its actions and its rejection of violence, “regardless of its source”.
“We do stress that we will continue to use peaceful means to achieve our goals,” Ali Salman, the leader of Al Wefaq, said.
The National Unity Assembly, which for weeks pushed for tougher action against acts of sabotage and arson, welcomed the decision by the parliament to issue the series of recommendations.
The political formation that emerged as a major political and social force in February 2011 days into the events that occurred in the country, said that the lack of stiff action had allowed the proliferation of acts of sabotage and the disruption of social peace.