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Shura bars members of dissolved societies from club boards

Political rights required to run in national elections, become board member

Gulf News

Manama: Bahrain’s Shura Council, the upper chamber of the bicameral parliament, on Sunday endorsed a motion to ban former members of dissolved political societies from joining the boards of public youth, sports and private clubs and associations.

The motion was presented by five lawmakers from the Council of Representatives, the lower chamber which approved it last week.

Lawmakers Abdul Rahman Bu Mjaid, Khalid Al Shaer, Mohammad Al Jowder, Hamad Al Dossari and Jamal Bu Hassan proposed in their motion to add a condition that requires those who want to join club boards to possess full political rights.

They argued that the new requirement would enable the board members to represent clubs and associations “in the most satisfactory manner.”

The government said that it fully agreed with the motion, explaining that it was “consistent with the provisions of the constitution and the law and in line with the considerations of public interest.”

“The motion is also in line with the interests of clubs and associations by guaranteeing that no individual who does not enjoy political rights will be a member of its board. An individual who does not enjoy such important rights is ineligible to become a board member who will provide public services,” the government said.

Earlier this month, former members of dissolved political societies were banned from running in national elections under new amendments supported by the two chambers of the parliament and ratified by King Hamad Bin Eisa Al Khalifa.

The amendments ban individuals convicted of a felony from running in elections, even if they were granted a special amnesty or rehabilitated.

The ban also covers individuals sentenced to prison terms for more than six months for committing intentional offences, the actual leaders and members of political societies dissolved by a final judgement for committing serious violations of the constitution or any laws and individuals who leave the Council of Representatives or whose membership has been dropped for the same reasons.

Quadrennial parliamentary and municipal elections have been regularly held in Bahrain since 2002 following a constitutional hiatus of close to 30 years.

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