Bahrain King grants new powers to parliament
Manama, May 4, 2012
Key new powers for Bahrain’s parliament were signed into law by His Majesty King Hamad yesterday (May 3), giving the people a greater say in the running of the country.
The formal approval of 19 constitutional amendments stemming from last year's National Dialogue have been seen as a major step in Bahrain's reform process.
They give the National Assembly, a joint parliament and Shura Council body, the power to reject a four-year plan presented by the Cabinet at the beginning of each legislative term.
Two-thirds of parliament will also have the right to take a vote of 'no confidence' against the Prime Minister if MPs feel they cannot co-operate with the Cabinet.
Speaking during a ceremony to mark the occasion at Sakhir Palace attended by ministers, businessmen, political societies and community leaders, His Majesty described the constitutional amendments as a historical turning point for Bahrain.
'MPs and Shura Council members have studied, reviewed and redrafted the amendments, approved the final draft and submitted it for our endorsement and ratification, by God's will, as a qualitative leap of which we are proud,' he said.
'This move proves the exercise by our people of remarkable dialogue and exchange of views with genuine patriotic intentions, within the constitutional institutions.' – TradeArabia News Service