MANAMA (AFP) – King Hamad of Bahrain is poised to reshuffle the cabinet in a move that will see the exit of the Gulf state’s first ever woman minister, an official said on Sunday.
Health Minister Nada Haffadh, who joined the government in 2004, is likely to be replaced by Faisal al-Hamr, a former dean of the health sciences college, the official told AFP, requesting anonymity.
He said the minor reshuffle could be announced any time before parliament opens its new session on October 17.
Haffadh revealed to the press earlier this month that she had tendered her resignation in April following the formation of a parliamentary commission to investigate the work of the health ministry.
The cabinet includes another woman, Fatima al-Blushi, who is in charge of social development.
The official said that the reshuffle is also likely to feature the replacement of Labour Minister Majid al-Alwi by the current state minister for foreign affairs, Nizar al-Baharna, who is close to the Shiite opposition in the Sunni-ruled archipelago.
Information Minister Mohammad Abdul Ghaffar is likely to be replaced by Jihad Bukamal, a member of the appointed consultative council who formerly sat in the elected parliament.
Bahraini newspapers have noted over the past two days that the anticipated changes will mainly affect ministers who have been involved in rows with the Islamist-dominated parliament.
Bahrain, a close US ally that hosts the US navy’s Fifth Fleet, is the only Gulf state which does not export crude oil. Its economy relies heavily on banking and other services.