Political Maturity and National Dialogue

At a time when the demonstrations and protests continue unabated, sometimes accompanied by rioting, gas bombs and smoke from burnt tyres, all political parties are still holding onto to their previous positions, while the community and civil institutions witness a high level of polarisation, continued social strife and high doses of sectarian incitement fuelled by the religious, media and political elites.

At the human rights level, and despite the efforts which have been made to rectify what has been destroyed by political conflicts, this conflict alone keeps the tension on the streets alive and breeds actions and reactions that leave the Human Rights as the main casualty in most cases.

Nevertheless there are some indications of maturity in some political practices and positions. However, the true test of this maturity is whether dialogue can be achieved between political opponents. The more successful the dialogue, the closer the country will be to ending the political stagnation and solving the social and human rights crisis.

There is a regional and international consensus on the importance of a national dialogue which could result in a political consensus that would safeguard the country on the long term. Short term solutions have been proven to be outdated. Such dialogue needs a long time in order to produce the necessary changes desired. It also requires mutual compromises and a strategic vision away from short-term interests. Although the calls for dialogue are encouraging, there are doubts concerning the ripeness of the re?ional and local circumstances. Unfortunately, until now, local political parties have failed to prepare themselves enough for national dialogue.

It is a pity to see the inability of the political parties to present initiatives in order to find a way out of a problem that could easily be overcome if the concerned parties would place the interest of the country above their own, the bond of citizenship above narrow factionalism, and stay away from the stubbornness and narrow mindedness. It is saddening to see Bahrain, which used to be ahead in political reform and democratic development and is known historically for its tolerance, is still suffering f?om a futile schism that threatens to break up the country.

National responsibility obliges all parties to behave selflessly, rise above the pettiness, and work effortlessly through constructive dialogue with no confrontation and recrimination in order to find a way out of the crisis to save the country and enable it to resume the march along the road to reforms and progress. This responsibility also requires that intellectuals, writers, scholars and peace and stability advocates, play a role in guiding the society and restoring harmony and tolerance.