Bahrain lawmakers plan walkout over controversial MP

December 9, 2011

Lawmakers in Bahrain’s lower chamber have warned that they would boycott next Tuesday’s session if a controversial MP is allowed to attend.

Last month, the lower chamber voted, upon a recommendation from the legislative committee, to suspend MP Osama Muhanna for 20 sessions for reportedly threatening and insulting two fellow lawmakers, Ghanim Al Buainain and Sawsan Al Taqawi, during separate heated debates.

However, the suspension waded into controversy after only 18 MPs voted in its favour, three short of the majority required to pass it. However, the MPs said that the 18 votes were the majority of those present at the session.

Osama took advantage of the confusion and wanted to attend last week’s session. However, angry MPs left the lower chamber and the debates were suspended for lack of the quorum.

“We will do it again and we will walk out if he is there on Tuesday,” the MPs said, referring to Osama.

However, a group of lawmakers is now seeking to appease the situation to ensure there is no further escalation of the issue that marked the beginning of the second year of the 2010-2014 legislative term.

“The parliamentary sessions should not be suspended and those keen on the punitive action should work out an acceptable solution with the other blocs,” the MPs seeking to appease the situation said.

Osama had threatened to hurl a book he was holding at Al Buainian who had told him to confine his remarks to the issue being debated on the floor. He later reportedly insulted Al Taqawi as she discussed his attitudes towards colleagues during a break.

He was one of the 18 MPs voted in the lower chamber in by-elections held on September 24 and October 1 to replace the lawmakers who represented Al Wefaq Islamic Society and who resigned in late February to protest against the way the authorities handled demonstrators at the now-removed Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Roundabout, popularly known as the Pearl Roundabout, on February 17.



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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