Shura Council representative urged to respect bylaws

January 24, 2011

The chairman of Bahrain’s upper chamber on Monday had a rare public disagreement with a representative over an interpretation of a bylaws article.

Saleh Al Saleh who has chaired the Shura Council since 2006 said that he was forced to speak openly to point out to newly-appointed Lulwa Al Awadhi that, according to the bylaws, she had no right to speak more than twice on the same issue.

Al Awadhi, a lawyer who was, for nine years, the secretary general of the Supreme Council for Women, has regularly waded into controversy since the chamber started convening by making frequent comments and statements.

Even though she was called to order by Al Saleh, Al Awadhi insisted on her right to convey her views to her peers.

However, on Monday, Al Saleh apparently decided to put an end to the controversy and urged Al Awadhi to comply with the bylaws and to confine her interventions or statements to two.

“I have been criticised for being too tolerant by giving representatives too much time and freedom in conveying their views,” Al Saleh told the chamber. “This has been my policy for years and I am grateful for this positive and cordial spirit that has prevailed in the chamber. I often went ahead with requests for comments and questions, even though some of them were against the bylaws. We cannot engage in controversial arguments for every item,” he said.

Al Saleh said that he although he felt he had enough patience to listen to all comments and remarks, he was reminded by some representatives that he was not upholding the bylaws.

“I have consulted with the Shura advisor and he said that the text of the bylaws was clear and should not be violated,” he said.

The Shura council is made up of 40 representatives, all appointed by King Hamad Bin Eisa Al Khalifa, including 11 women. The chamber also has one Jew and one Christian.

The 40 members of the lower chamber who include only one woman, Lateefa Al Gaood, were elected in October 2010 for four years.



About the author

Born August 3, 1960 in Monastir, Tunisia
Media career:
  • ABC News (Tunisia)
  • Bahrain Tribune
  • Gulf News
  • Bahrain Television News
Teaching career:
  • Monastir (Tunisia)
  • University of Bahrain
  • MA  Mass Communications, University of Leicester
  • BA  in English & US literature and studies, University of Tunis

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