Bahrain’s national dialogue participation reaches 94%

June 28, 2011

National dialogue invitations

The spokesperson for the national dialogue, a forum expected to bring together the full spectrum of Bahrain’s political, social, economic and rights tendencies, said that 94 per cent of the invited parties, NGOs and figures have confirmed their participation.

“We have received confirmation from 297 people, parties and NGOs and on the basis of the number of invitations sent out, the participation rate has exceeded 94 percent,” Eisa Abdul Rahman said.

Each political society has been allocated five seats around the tables “on the grounds that they are deeply interested in public affairs,” he said.

Shaping the future

Most political parties have sent the names of their delegates and their visions on the four topics to be discussed at the dialogue to help shape the future of Bahrain following its worst crisis in its modern history.

However, Al Wefaq, the largest opposition society, has yet to announce its final stance on the dialogue.

Three of its former allies in a seven-member coalition, have said that they would be taking part in the talks expected to start on Saturday with a keynote speech and with an agreement on the arrangements. The actual talks will start on Sunday afternoon.

Sources said that the talks would be held three times a week and that no timeframe had been imposed.

National issues

“The municipal councils will also be taking part in the dialogue and will certainly enrich the talks and give them a more comprehensive dimension given that they enjoy a strong expertise in national issues,” Eisa said.

According to the spokesman, 81 per cent of the participants have sent their visions on the political, social, economic and rights topics to be discussed.

“We will now categorise them according to the four themes amid hopes that the participants will be able to reach agreements that will help us move forward,” he said.

Quality of ideas

“The concept and spirit of the dialogue are not founded on the number of participants, but on the quality of shared ideas and the way they are addressed,” Eisa said.

“The consensus that will be reached does not depend on figures, but on the diversity of opinions and on the ability of the participants to reach common grounds with the others.”

Abdul Lateef Al Mahmoud, the leader of the emerging force in Bahrain, said in an interview with London-based Asharq Al Awsat that “reaching a consensus of 60 per cent on the issues would be a great success for Bahrain.”



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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