Pillars of Stability
Security situation in Bahrain is calm following the disappearance
of street violence. Council and Parliamentary elections also took
place on time in accordance with legal procedures and international
standards. Clearly, security has been reinforced, but as in other
countries Bahrain must now exert long term efforts to strengthen
the foundations of stability. These can be summarised as follows:
Firstly: Expansion of democracy and public participation in decision-making.
The mere election of representatives in Parliament does not constitute
real or equal participation in decision-making. In order to achieve
real participation, people should enjoy other rights such as freedom
of expression and assembly and the freedom to establish societies,
in addition to having fundamental economic and social rights. This
is because a citizen who is unable to provide food for his/her family
cannot become a real or free participant in decisions which determine
their fate and future. What is required after the elections is the
expansion of channels through which decisions, laws and legislations
pass, as well as improving services and living standards. If Parliament
fails to achieve this, then the democratic process itself will be
useless, something that decision makers and MPs should note.
Secondly: Maximize the margin of freedom to establish civil society
organizations, and encouraging the youth to become involved in volunteer
and institutional work. This will aid the spread of vitality and
awareness in society, and achieve great strides in public culture
and social and cultural services for the public.
Establishing civil societies and allowing them to carry out unrestricted
activities, proves that the freedom of association exists, without
which freedom becomes meaningless. In fact, the difference between
dictatorships and democratic regimes can be found in legislations
that govern the right to establish civil society organizations.
The fewer the restrictions, the closer these regimes are to democracy.
We call for a tolerant attitude towards Bahraini civil society
organizations and for the passing of a modern law that governs the
establishment of NGOs and promotes freedoms. This law should also
avoid the dominant and oppressive policies of the Executive Authority,
encourage the increase in the number of these societies, and provide
all the necessary means for them to achieve their goals.
Thirdly: Adopting educational curriculums that contribute in
building a skilful and qualified generation, able to plan its future
and live a dignified and prosperous life (in accordance with the
2030 National Plan). Also, there is need to educate the new generation
to respect diversity, and, furthermore, helping them to develop
a unifying national identity. Also, there is need to raise awareness
among citizens about their rights and obligations, hence creating
a harmonious society far from stereotyping and extremism towards