Visions handed in for Bahrain dialogue

June 28, 2011

Bahrain’s national dialogue executives said that they had received 150 visions on the four topics to be taken up by participants next month.

“We have received the views sent by parties, associations, NGOs and individuals who will be participating in the national dialogue,” said Khalifa Al Dahrani, the head of the dialogue.

“We will now categorise them in the political, economic, social and rights topics that will be addressed by the delegates and figures who will be at the four tables,” he said in a statement at the end of the period for sending visions.

The deadline was initially on Thursday, but was extended to Sunday to give more time to political parties, civil society organisations and political and religious figures to draft their visions on the future of Bahrain. Several political parties said that they had sent their views within the deadline and had named their delegates to the dialogue set to start on July 2.

The National Democratic Action Society, Waad, the largest liberal society, said that its team would be led by Muneera Fakhro, an academician and activist who narrowly missed being elected to the lower chamber in 2006 and in 2010. Fareeda Gulam Esmail, Hafedh Ali, Mahmoud Hafedh and Radhi Al Mousawi will make up the rest of the five-member team.

Ebrahim Shareef, the secretary-general of the society, was last week sentenced to five years in prison for his alleged role in attempts to topple the political regime. However, the society said that the sentence was “too harsh” and his lawyers have appealed the verdict.


The other two major liberal societies, the National Rally and the Democratic Tribune, will be led by Hassan Al Ali and Hasan Madan, respectively.

The three societies said that they were keen on holding meetings to coordinate their efforts with the emerging National Unity Rally and Al Asala, the expression of Salafism in Bahrain, to coordinate their views.

However, Al Wefaq, Bahrain’s largest society, has not yet decided whether it will be represented at the four tables for the national talks.

Arguments given by Al Wefaq for not attending included the unfair representation of opposition groups, the lack of seriousness in the talks, the controversy of holding talks while court sessions are continuing, and equating the status of Al Wefaq with much smaller societies.



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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