Bahrain lower chamber suspends controversial MP for 20 sessions

November 23, 2011

Bahrain’s lower chamber has voted to suspend a controversial MP for 20 sessions in a first since the bicameral parliament was established in 2002.

MP Osama Muhanna had waded into controversy after he abused fellow lawmaker Ghanim Al Buainain and threatened to hurl a booklet he was holding at him for asking him to confine his remarks to the issue being debated at the lower chamber. The MP had another altercation during the session recess with Sawsan Al Taqawi, the head of the defence and interior committee and one of the four women lawmakers in the 40-member chamber.

The case was taken up by the legal and legislative committee whose members conducted a thorough investigation and eventually recommended that the MP be suspended for 20 sessions.

During the debate on the recommendations, Osama offered his apology to the lower chamber while some MPs called for reducing the suspension to five sessions.

However, Sawsan Al Taqawi opposed any move towards leniency and insisted that she had never received any personal apology from the MP.

“I put all of you before your responsibilities towards God as you vote,” she said.

Osama was elected to the lower chamber on October 1 in the second round of by-elections held to replace the 18 MPs from Al Wefaq who resigned in late February to protest against the way the authorities handled demonstrations.

The mass resignation was initially put on hold by the lower chamber to give time to Al Wefaq, the leading bloc then, to reconsider its position. However, it was eventually accepted after the political and religious society said it would not change its decision.



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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