Bandargate fallouts are starting to happen

9 Oct, '06

In a move that will surely put smiles on a lot of faces, and more importantly go toward more transparent elections and referendums, the king has given his royal order to break-away the Electoral and Referendum Directorate from under the Central Informatics Organisation and attach it to the newly independent Legal Affairs Unit.

There is no doubt that this move has happened due to Bandargate, so this is the first effect of the silver lining in that damning report.

Electoral and Referendum Directorate to be under Legal Unit jurisdiction

Manama, Oct. 8, (BNA) — His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa ordered that the Electoral and Referendum Directorate be under the jurisdiction of the Legal Affairs Unit which became one of the kingdoms independent bodies, the minister of Royal Court announced today.

In implementation of the royal directives, specialized bodies shall begin taking the necessary legal procedures to amend effective laws in order to ensure the independence of the Legal Unit and restrict the authorities of the Central Informatics Organization to the information it should provide to the Unit, he noted. These amendments will be laid for discussion by the legislative authority after the next elections to complete legal procedures, issue and enforce them.

With the most important directorate now taken out of the clutches of the CIO, the latter’s role is (should) now limited to providing information to the various government organisations as well as the public, and maybe when the CIO wakes up to its proper role of a service organisation rather than an executive one, they will put plans in place to inculcate transparency in all of its facets, least of which is providing all public domain information easily and within reach of the people who request it.

The next step should be that the king should remove all those implicated in Bandargate from all public duties until a full, thorough and transparent investigation is mounted and its results made public and those implicated punished appropriately. It’s not like the CIO will cease to function, it was working well enough prior to Ahmed Attiyatallah taken the helm so they do have some good people who can drive that organisation quite capably; give them the chance to do so, while set up a review board of the CIO’s real functions and limit its operation to those alone.

For instance, the CIO should cancel the majority of the purported functions of the “smart card” and limit information stored within it to the minimum required to identify the holder. In my estimation, that should be the name, CPR number, age, address, driving license status, blood type and next of kin to contact in case of emergency. All other information that they want to include like medical records etc are really unneeded at this stage.

This is Good News™ for a change, so I hope that more of Al-Bandar’s report will be studied and solutions implemented to save this country and ALL of its people from strife.

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Comments (10)

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  1. Redbelt says:

    The smart card isn’t that smart at all.
    It can be used exactly like a memory card or a USB flash memory disk if you will.
    All you need is a run of the mill smart card reader, and there you go, all the information is there for the taking!

    You don’t need like special authorized password or such. Imagine that. How secure can that be?

    I can put citizen’s data on a smaller SD card, but that wouldn’t work much security wise would it?

  2. Anonymous says:

    obviously this is a sign of falling and failing democracy, or i should say the demo version of democracy. when the man in power has all the power, but still does not use it, only when the mask being uncovered. When you tell them about other issues, they will say, you have the parliment, which we all know what it is. On the other hand, the king uses his power to change whatever he wants. this tells us that in fact the king is not welling for true democracy. Proper democracy should start by sitting on a round table and resolving all issues.

    I am sure that the americans have excerted some pressure on “majesty the king”, as they have met with S. ALi Salman, and as we know that the Bander report was submitted to them too…

    the only thing is to wait and see. What did we gain from Bandergate, nothing, because, whatever rights in the current constitution is not sufficient for autologous democracy. BUT still, the “evils”, are not ready to allow even that!

  3. milter says:

    I’ve just seen Bandargate mentioned in a Danish newspaper for the first time today.

    It informs about the background of it, mentioning some of the people and institutions involved in it. It also explains about the religious setup of Bahrain, including the failed hopes of reforms with the arrival of the present number one.

  4. Anonymous says:

    milter, kindly could you give us the link, many thanks

  5. mahmood says:

    I’m glad it’s gaining international exposure, as these problems should. That is one way of limiting the damage and ensuring that we don’t turn into Rwanda or Darfur, as extreme as that may sound.

  6. milter says:


    The link is here.

    I don’t know how much you will get out of it, though. It’s in Danish only. And you’ll probably have to create an account to be able to log in.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Many thanks Milter,

    I appreciate your help.

  8. Thogba says:

    Why do we every time thank the king for his valuable intervention to resolve issues.

    The king, prime minister, crown prince and their family are the source of trouble in this country.

    The king himself signed in front of many people
    and in front of a video camera that the Shura Council
    was for councelling only and they would not have any
    constitutional authority. And so the honest people of Bahrain voted Yest to National Charter after they had heard the king on BTV talking about Shura Council.

    But the king lied to the people of Bahrain in Febrauary 2002.

    The Bander Gate has revealed and exposed how the king and his family had been poisening the soul of the Shites
    who happen for historic reasons to be the majority in Bahrain.

    Let me tell you this from history books:

    The end to this family is approaching

    They will run away to Saudi and the people of
    Bahrain will follow them to kill them.

    Prophet Muhammed said:

    “The day of the oppressed is harder than the day of the oppressor”

    The ‘day’ means the time when the oppressed is stronger

  9. mahmood says:

    I don’t agree with you. Your background colours your views abominably and drives them into fantasy rather than practicality.

  10. Incognito says:

    Redbelt, No you can’t. On CIO’s smartcard there are two memory space. One open,read only, which has name,address,cpr no,nationality,driving license validity dates and blood type.

    The other are protected zone (read/write with permissions). Now this area are only available for reading with a particular Agency. Eg, only traffic will be able to READ additional info from traffic; Health will be able to read additional health records;GDNPR – visa info.

    Plus the card is also crypto enabled, meaning in near future you will be able to obtain digital certificates and store it in the card.

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