Confirmation and Application of the National Pillars

This year around, Bahrain celebrated the anniversary of the adoption of the National Action Charter amidst an atmosphere of expectation and anticipation of a positive turn in the Bahraini dilemma in the light of the new impetus on the national dialogue spearheaded by the Crown Prince.

In his address to the nation on the occasion, The King of Bahrain confirmed his adherence to the national basics enshrined in the Charter. That means the national dialogue will remain within the frame of the basic charter. For example, the option of an elected House of Representatives and an appointed Consultative Council will remain unchanged. The opposition had a problem with the size of mandate given to each of them – The King is against the abolition of the consultative Council as demanded by some – whereas some circles demand more weight to be given to the House of Representative. The King stressed the following national basics:

  • Independence of the Judiciary
  • Rule of Law
  • Equality and Justice
  • Respect for public freedom
  • Equal opportunities

The King also re-affirmed his commitment to comprehensive reforms that are compatible with Bahrain’s circumstances and national interest and that fall in line with its values, identity, rights and the respect for the rights of all its citizens.

This reaffirmation comes with a different flavour this time around.The pace of reform might soon witness a considerable acceleration in the areas of amending the constituencies,widening the margin of participation in the decision making process and the sharing of the executive power, and increasing parliamentary jurisdiction in legislation, accountability and supervision. If the national dialogue is successful, the human rights front might witness positive development in confronting abuses and violations or adjusting local legislations to comply with International Standards. Same positive developments could include more freedom of expression and an improvement in the official media coverage to cater for all political and social spectrums.