MANAMA (AFP) – Bahrain’s King Hamad named a cabinet on Tuesday following last week’s parliamentary elections that is virtually unchanged, state news agency BNA said.
The pro-Western Al-Khalifa family, which has ruled Bahrain since 1783, continues to hold the same leading positions, with Prince Khalifa bin Salman al-Khalifa as prime minister and Sheikh Khaled bin Ahmad al-Khalifa as foreign minister.
Prince Khalifa has served as prime minister ever since independence from Britain in 1971.
King Hamad also appointed an additional deputy prime minister — Sheikh Khalid bin Abdullah al-Khalifa. And he formed a new ministry for public works, which is to be headed by Esam bin Abdullah, state news agency BNA said.
Shiite Muslims are the majority in Bahrain, but the Khalifa family is Sunni, and Shiites have demanded a greater say in the running of the country.
The main Shiite opposition group won all 18 seats it contested in the 40-member parliament, making it the lower house’s largest single bloc.