Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

Bahrain ratifies constitutional amendments | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
Select Page

London, Asharq Al-Awsat – Bahraini King Hamad Bin Isa al-Khalifa ratified a number of amendments to Bahrain’s constitution on Thursday that had previously been approved by the Shura and Representative Councils.

In a speech to mark the occasion, the Bahraini monarch said “the reform march we have undertaken since assuming the throne remains ongoing and will continue. Life is evolving. We hope that all national gatherings and societies will take the initiative to assess their performance to cope with the pace of development and reform.”

He added “today, our unified will has come to a turning point in the history of Bahrain, embodied in the implementation of the constitutional amendments that were set out in the recommendations of the National Consensus Dialogue, following the adoption by the two legislative Chambers – the Shura Council and the House of Representatives – of their full responsibilities in this respect.”

According to the amendments, the king now has to consult the heads of the elected parliament and the appointed Consultative Council before dissolving the legislature.

The elected chamber alone now has the right to vote to withhold its cooperation from the prime minister and refer its decision to the king, who then has the final choice on whether to dismiss the premier or keep him in post.

The amendments, the first to the Bahraini constitution since it was issued in 2002, were initiated by around 300 people who met last July to discuss the future of Bahrain as part of a National Consensus Dialogue. This brought together representatives from trade unions, women’s societies, the media, the government, parliament and civil society who eventually agreed on around 300 recommendations that were submitted to parliament for further discussion.