Bahrain’s new-look parliament to reconvene on Sunday

October 3, 2011

Bahrain’s parliament will reconvene for the second year of its four-year term on Sunday following the summer recess.

However, while the 40-member upper chamber of the bicameral parliament will be unchanged, the lower chamber will have a new look and will include, for the first time in its history, four women among its 40 members.

Three women won in the parliamentary by-elections held over two rounds on September 24 and October 1 and they will join Lateefa Al Gaood who has held a seat since 2006 when she made history by becoming the first woman in the Gulf to reach the lower chamber after she ran unopposed in her constituency. She was able to keep her seat after she ran again unopposed in 2010.

Sawsan Taqawi became in early September the first Shiite woman member of the lower chamber after she ran unopposed in her constituency.

Ebtisam Hijris and Somaya Al Jowder won impressively in the second round of the by-elections to become the first women voted in the parliament.

The upper chamber has 11 women members.

A national dialogue held in July to help overcome social and political divisions called for giving more powers to the lower chamber over the upper chamber and in monitoring the ministers’ work.

The government on Sunday endorsed the recommendations and the leadership of the parliament is set to be transferred from the upper chamber to the lower chamber, a key demand by the opposition.



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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