Bahrain parliament probe panel seeks minister’s removal

May 10, 2011

Bahrain’s government and lower chamber could be set on a collision course after the lawmakers endorsed a recommendation to dismiss the energy minister and to suspend the board of Bahrain Petroleum Company (Bapco).

The MPs on Tuesday said that a parliamentary investigation committee had produced a report which detailed alleged irregularities by the major oil company.

In their recommendations, they said that the minister should be dropped from the government and that the board members and executives should be suspended from work and transferred to the public prosecution for legal investigations.

The committee said that the probe was into the attitudes of the minister, the board members and executives of the company during the political turmoil and unrest that hit Bahrain in February and March.

According to the investigation team, several Bapco employees were “deeply involved” in the demonstrations calling for the downfall of the regime, and benefited from “undue” administrative protection that amounted to “incitement to strike.”

However, Abdul Aziz Al Fadhel, the minister for parliament affairs, said that the lower chamber’s call clashed with the constitution.

“This is a blatant violation of the constitution since the naming and dismissal of ministers is within the prerogatives of the HM the King,” he told the MPs. “The appointment of Bapco board members is also by royal decree.”

According to its website, Bapco, wholly owned by the government of Bahrain, is engaged in the oil industry including exploration and prospecting for oil, drilling, production, refining, distribution of petroleum products and natural gas, sales and exports of crude oil and refined products.

The company owns a 250,000 barrel-a-day refinery, storage facilities for more than 14 million barrels, a marketing terminal, and a marine terminal for its petroleum products.



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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