Bahrain’s largest liberal society denies reports it pulled out of the dialogue

July 3, 2011

Bahrain’s largest liberal society on Sunday denied reports that it was pulling out of the national dialogue launched on Saturday.

“The online reports that we have decided to withdraw from the national dialogue are not true,” Radhi Al Mousawi, the secretary-general for political affairs of the National Democratic Action Society “Waad”, said. “The opening session was largely ceremonial and there were only the speeches of the chairman of the dialogue and the organisers,” he said.

All 18 societies formally registered under the justice ministry were invited to the dialogue, a forum that brings together more than 300 people from political parties, NGOs, the parliament, municipal councils, the media, trade unions, business community, women’s groups and the government as well as religious and social figures, to discuss the future of Bahrain in the aftermath of its worst crisis in its modern history.

Al Wefaq, the largest opposition group, took up the invitation late on Friday, hours before the talks were opened.

However, it missed a deadline set by the organisers to submit its vision on political, social, economic and rights issues ahead of the talks.

Radhi said that Waad had handed in its visions on the four themes on time.

“We will attend the sessions and we will assess how serious they are about taking the country out of the political and sectarian crisis,” he said.

Waad is one of the few political parties without a strongly religious base. However, it has no representation in the lower chamber after its members boycotted the elections in 2002, the first to be held after a 30-year constitutional hiatus. In 2006 and in 2010, its candidates failed to win any seats even though two of them twice reached the second round



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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