Al-Wefaq shuns leadership positions

19 Dec, '06

Al-Wefaq National Islamic Society LogoWith the announcement tonight that Al-Wefaq “will attend Wednesday’s session as they have now achieved the demonstration of their displeasure with the government” I am left wondering what their position actually is, other than a completely amateurish and childish foot-stomping tantrum!

What have they realistically achieved by this boycott? Did the government give in to any of their demands? Did they actually get anything for their position? Were there any negotiations or any promises made by the Royal Court to repair the situations highlighted by their boycott? Will they now get rid of the Bandargate heroes and launch an investigation?

Or are they putting their supporters on notice that they should not be blamed for any shortcoming in their parliamentary tasks “due to the inherent impotence of the parliament, its bylaws and the constitution”? If it is this case then why bother? We all know the deficiencies of the system so this point is totally moot, if indeed this is the reason for their boycott.

Maybe it is just that they are more comfortable being led rather than take the reigns and lead.

Listen guys, like I said before, you cannot be “a little pregnant“, you have got to make up your minds and either go in and completely participate within the current framework of the democratic institutions, or get out and make way for others to take their natural place and lead. Don’t go in half-heartedly, and most certainly you cannot go in with a “boycotter” or the traditional “opposition” mindset, you have to lead, your constituents should accept nothing else, you being the largest bloc, and you should take the front seats and pursue a national agenda to increase freedoms, encourage investments, fix education, fix the constitution and the various other ills this country suffers from. Your indecision as to the level and method of your participation is unprofessional and unbecoming of a party with the support you enjoy. There are a lot of hopes hanging on you so it behoves you to be much more professional than you have been so far. Above all, you cannot, simply cannot go into parliament with the victim mentality!

I will give you the benefit of the doubt for the moment and assume that a deal was struck, and that deal – if any – will most definitely become known soon enough. But if there isn’t any, then what you did in your boycott is callous to say the least; all you have done is shown disrespect to the king by not being present at the inauguration ceremony, and complete disrespect and disregard for your constituents by not taking the leadership positions you are expected to take.

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Comments (16)

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  1. SOHAIL says:

    WELL DEMONSTRATIONS, PROTESTS DO WHAT EVER U WANT DO I JUST WONDER WHY WAS IT THAT THEY ACTUALLY DONT GO THE PARLIAMENT SOME SAY ITS MATYRYS DAY OK THEN SHEIKH JAMRIS SAD DEMISE AND ARE THEY GOING IN AND WHY ARE THEY NOT GOING IN :rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes:
    COME ON U WAIST OUR AND YOUR TIME ALSO PEOPLE DIDNT ELECT U FOR NOT GOING IN SEE A SOLUTION IN THE PRESENT FRAME WORK OK 😯

  2. Anonymous says:

    Well, the situation is so confusing. We don’t really know what Al-Wefaq has in mind. They seem to know what they are doing and the announcement looks done & prepared ages ago 😕 That means they really know what they are doing. It looks like they are playing by the books and really that they don’t want a parliment run by “upper-ppl”
    Look, other ally societies are supporting Wefaq’s step (another 😕 )
    Something very fishy is happening??!!

    I agree with this

    you cannot be “a little pregnant“, you have got to make up your minds and either go in and completely participate within the current framework of the democratic institutions

    and also with this

    Or are they putting their supporters on notice that they should not be blamed for any shortcoming in their parliamentary tasks “due to the inherent impotence of the parliament, its bylaws and the constitution”?

    dont think this is more likely to happen

    I will give you the benefit of the doubt for the moment and assume that a deal was struck, and that deal – if any – will most definitely become known soon enough.

    (from my humble point of view, I “think” I figured out how they’ll play this term, and I also believe they are preparing for a plan that might take more than 4 years, but i’ll keep it to myself for the time being). If you really think about it, you realise it’s not about leadership positions. Not as some sectarian newspapers suggested and what the government & other Islamic societies are dying to get their hands on.

    The whole Gov’/ppl-Parliment thing is so tensed and it can go both ways; good or bad outcomes. It’s so tensed and frustrating. With Shaikh Al-Jamry, May His Good Soul Rest In Peace, passing away now and the situation in the country, let’s calm down a little, wait for tomorrow and the upcoming Parliment sessions & wish for the best as long we’ve got people like Wefaq-Wa’ad-Democratic Minbar- Islamic Labour and the good-well educated-clean-patriot people of Bahrain in the picture 🙁

  3. Costa-guy says:

    sorry the second reply was mine too

    Come to think about it.. here’s the answer

    قاطعنا من أجل التأسيس لمشاركة ليس شكلية .. وسنتعاون بايجابية مع جميع الكتل والحكومة

    By giving Al-Wefaq “some” leadership positions, the government will be so happy that all parties will get a “peice” of the “failure”.

    Now, by boycotting the leadership positions (for the same reasons all 4 societies boycotted in 2002), any faliure in this parliment will be thrown on the government and government allies. The idea that the “opposition” is out the game is over. Now they are in and any failure of the government and it’s allies will be exposed by Al-Wefaq members. In fact they “the gov’-allies” need to be in charge now & run the whole picture with professionalism as much as Wefaq & it’s allies would do.

    It’s a stand that states that Parliment of 2006 is still a “failure”. A stand that might certify that “Wa’ad” being out of the picture is a “failure”.

    If the Islamic pro-gov societies are smart enough they will do their best to do their best performance especially that tonight’s announcement made sure that Wefaq is still in and will still play it’s role as professional as it takes.

    Some might say Wefaq should’ve took a bit of the positions (including me) but after thinking about it, you realise the government has 22 pro-Gov members, which means they will give Wefaq the 1st deputy seat only. They’ll eat up the all the other positions just to make sure they can’t force a decision; therefore, the boycott thing (might be) accepted.

    I “think” it’s like a message to the “higher-ups”: (You want to run the show, then go run the show. We’re still in, we are still opposing, we don’t want to lead, you lead, JUST put in mind, if there is a win, we all win. But a failure of this Parliment is your failure and the biggest losers for 2010 “might be” us but “definitly” will be you) as Wa’ad will re-enter with a more stronger stand in their consistuencies, while Wefaq will still have a big stand even after a possible failure.

    I liked the chess-expression and I think the game has just began. Let’s wait and wish for the best.

    (May your good soul rest in peace Shaikh Al-Jamry). A man who stood up for his words and fought for the freedom we are trying to express here, unlike some others who were in every other Parliment but did not stand for a thing except their interests.

    Bahrain be strong! تكفي يا بحرين

  4. Ameer Or Prince says:

    I have to come to realise that Wefaq has prepared this scenerio long time ago. They seem to know every ‘unexpected’ move of the gov. I am quite sure that this movement has added a great assurance that this parliament is a great failure thanks to the stupidity of our wise gov.
    No offence, but it seems that we don’t have the deep breath the WEFAQEES have. there was on sign whatsoever in the foreseeable future that the people of wefaq will attent any future sessoons but they have shocked us their ready announcement. Ten thumbs to the Wefaqs.

  5. nurox says:

    Costa-guy,

    Really hope you’re right, i think they wanted to place pro-gov under the spotlight, so as to show they’ve got what it takes to run the show fairly or not.

    Who knows, they just might realize that and actually try to work with the opposition to sort out the many issues they share in common.

    Afterall, even if the constitutional issues don’t get resolved, but a big pile of pending issues related to housing, wages, equality and so forth do get sorted, that should be enough to make almost everyone happy.

    then again, it could be wishful thinking :undecided:

  6. Anonymous says:

    In my opinion alwefaq orchestrated this whole performance very mischievously. Since they know they don’t really have a chance at the chairmanship this term due to the vote count (even though they have 62% of the electoral votes inside the assembly). They allow the opposition to snatch up all the governing posts. This MOVE removes the unwritten rule of splitting the posts along sectarian lines; chairman and second deputy on one side and the first deputy on the other. So alwefaq tries to bring in some reforms during the upcoming four year; including trying to redistribute the electoral circles in order for the population to be represented with greater equality. Then the next term they dominate the entire council. One thing about power is, the moment you acquire it you seek ways to keep your hands on it. Well done to them.

  7. milter says:

    Anonymous said it so clearly:

    We don’t really know what Al-Wefaq has in mind.

    That exactly is the point.

    Al-Wefaq does not have any intention other than creating unrest.

    Do they have any published manifestations of what you can expect if you vote for them? Do they have any suggestions to solving the problem of unemployment? Do they tell you anything about how they think the eduational system should be developed? Do they say anything about women’s rights? Do they mention the problems with migrant workers in Bahrain?

    I may have missed a few things (Google’s interpretation from Arabic to English is still at it’s infant stage 😉 but I haven’t seen much along those lines so far. What I have seen on their site, though, is a couple of faces that aren’t normally associated with the kind of democracy most regulars of Mahmood’s Den advocate.

    Being in opposition to an existing system is always easy, especially if that system is considered corrupt and useless by the majority.

    Being able to come up with better ideas of how to run a country is a h… of a lot more difficult, especially if you haven’t tried it before.

    Look at how Hamas have fared. They were OK as long as they could thrive on the corruption and incompetence of the leaders of Fatah, but as soon as they had to create an alternative to the Fatah regime they failed disgracefully.

  8. chan'ad says:

    milter said:

    Do they have any published manifestations of what you can expect if you vote for them? Do they have any suggestions to solving the problem of unemployment? Do they tell you anything about how they think the eduational system should be developed? Do they say anything about women’s rights? Do they mention the problems with migrant workers in Bahrain?

    ummm, for all of the above, try here

  9. milter says:

    chan’ad said:

    ummm, for all of the above, try here

    I’m sorry, chan’ad, that’s a PDF-file which Google won’t translate on my setup.

    I’ve been trying to keep myself updated on the development in Bahrain for some time. It has been a pretty difficult job as there don’t seem to be many independent sites that cover that topic and the only way I have of trying to understand a site in Arabic is by using Google.

    I’m just trying to “read between the lines” in what I pick up from various sites and so far I haven’t seen any indication of what the stance of Al-Wefaq actually is on those topics from “the horse’s mouth”.

    My opinion of Al-Wefaq is based on statements and opinions that have been voiced on sites that seem to be linked to supporters of their cause, i.e. sites that are supporting their opposition to the present regime and constitution.

    If you can give me a link to a site that will translate the text of that link into English, I’d be very grateful

  10. Maverick says:

    I “think” it’s like a message to the “higher-ups”: (You want to run the show, then go run the show. We’re still in, we are still opposing, we don’t want to lead, you lead, JUST put in mind, if there is a win, we all win. But a failure of this Parliment is your failure and the biggest losers for 2010 “might be” us but “definitly” will be you) as Wa’ad will re-enter with a more stronger stand in their consistuencies, while Wefaq will still have a big stand even after a possible failure.

    Costa-guy,
    What ever you say, if it is true based on your knowledge of Al Wefaq, I still stay it is logically wrong. One cannot say if we win we win together but if we loose then it is because of you. This is immature, childish and not chess. You cant sit on the benches and call yourself the winning team by refusing to play the game.

    If Al Wefaq decided to stay out for their own reasons, they are still wrong. By not participating they are being childish and immature and taking the attitude of the generally pissed of public. They are not the general public and do not have the liberty to behave this way. They have been elected and have to be sworn in. Changes can only be brought from within no matter how difficult it is. Read the constitution.

    By denying themselves the leadership positions and blaming the govenment for everything, they have helped it to happen. Lethargy, apathy and immaturity have resulted from their poor attitude. Whatever they may say in their plans and web-site, the net result is evident. If this government or parliment fails, it is because of them as part of the deal. Plus they have not been sworn in. You can’t be swon in by proxy or in absentia.

  11. AJJ says:

    There will come a time when the boycotters will realise that the ONLY reason they are not in the majority of this parliament is that they had NOTHING to offer citizens from accross the sectarian divide. It had nothing to do with Mulla’s and husbands telling Sunni wives to vote for their man, nor did it really have anything to do with moving the electorial boundaries.

    How many candidates actually tried, or were they intimated by demographics and the prospect of shame in defeat. Obviously the whole party is ashamed of itself which is why it boycotted parliament, they should have contested all seats not just the easy ones.

    So, next time lets see one side or the other try and cross the divide and reach out to more than just their favoured few and try and WIN and LEAD not sit back and winge like spoilt two year olds.

  12. mahmood says:

    AJJ, how would you explain the defeats of Munira Fakhro, Abdulrahman Al-Noaimi, Ibrahim Sharif, Sami Siyadi, Ibrahim Kamaleddin, and the 10 other liberals who mostly ran in Sunni dominated areas and are for the most part Sunnis themselves?

    One of the reasons they failed – and I’ve heard this myself – is that they are “Sushis”, they are supported “by those Shi’a” and want to bring Sufism and Shiism to the heart of Sunni neighbourhoods!

    Maybe you should re-evaluate your beliefs. It is unfortunate, really unfortunate that this country is sectarian in its thinking for the most part, so until that changes or at least until Bahrain is regarded as a single constituency, running in opposite areas is just futile and a waste of effort.

  13. mahmood says:

    Costa-Guy, this is the most contradictory and oxymoronic sentence I have read so far:

    قاطعنا من أجل التأسيس لمشاركة ليس شكلية .. وسنتعاون بايجابية مع جميع الكتل والحكومة

    So your defence (or explanation) based on it is illogical.

    Some might say Wefaq should’ve took a bit of the positions (including me) but after thinking about it, you realise the government has 22 pro-Gov members, which means they will give Wefaq the 1st deputy seat only. They’ll eat up the all the other positions just to make sure they can’t force a decision; therefore, the boycott thing (might be) accepted.

    I was tossing and turning since Dec 2nd until they boycotted by evaluating potential alliances that Al-Wefaq could enter into with independents. Remember that we have (had) 10 in there and my thinking was trying to find out in my own mind and my own research which 3 could be brought over to their side. It is not inconceivable at all. Politics, after all, is the art of the possible.

    Al-Wefaq I personally think were banking too much on Wa’ad winning and supporting them in parliament, and when that didn’t happen it threw a major spanner in their works. I am therefore dismayed that they didn’t plan for this eventuality and even more so that they chose boycotting – which they have already proved that it doesn’t work, yet, threw caution and sense to the wind and chose to embarrass the leadership and created enemies AND lost secure positions they could have effected change with.

    No, their boycott is not justified and is as far as I am concerned, political suicide and, if I may be so bold, is traitorous to their constituents especially after convincing them that voting for them in droves is a religious duty.

    I “think” it’s like a message to the “higher-ups”

    If this is indeed the best they can come up with, then they’re sorely ill advised. There was no need to re-enforce a message that was heard, comprehended and understood for years. At best it is a wasted opportunity.

  14. Costa-guy says:

    Maverick, Mahmood.. I respect your opinions and I understand the frustration we are all living through.

    But by looking at the whole frame, the suggestions you made can go both ways. I mean the Independents are not really independent if you know what I mean. And regarding considering it a childish move, then what do you call a newspapers main title “Al-Wefaq losses the leadership positions“??? So now they think democracy is a about who wants to drive the car?? Believe me, it may sound a childish move for us, but if you think about it, you can realize “some ppl” are very pissed because the failure of Wefaq = failure of the Bahrain democratic system.

    Maverick If this government or parliment fails, it is because of them as part of the deal.

    true.. they fail, everyone else fails

    Ameer Or Prince
    No offence, but it seems that we don’t have the deep breath the WEFAQEES have.

    My points might sound logical or irrational depending on the angle you are seeing it. I quoted this because frankly I don’t know how the future will be but i’ll give the benifit of doubt to Wefaq for the time being as much as I gave them back in the 90’s (At least in the end, we got “a” Parliment). And believe me the “people” who got the leadership positions know that without Wefaq there won’t be a parliment and won’t there be a democracy, that’s why they really need them to take the 1st deputy position. Because they know they can mess-up the whole situation.

    Mahmood
    Politics, after all, is the art of the possible

    and the infinte tactics

  15. mahmood says:

    Let’s agree to disagree on this one then.

    I too would like to give them the benefit of the doubt, unfortunately, with their recent press releases and reports they leave no doubt to give them the benefit of at all! Therefore, I firmly believe that they are wrong-footed at the moment and the moves they did on Friday and yesterday were foolish, apolitical and unwarranted. They did not gain anything by it, but lost a lot because of it.

    They have also angered (I wouldn’t say lost) a number of their staunch supporters by these moves, read Qassim Hussain’s columns of today and yesterday to understand what I mean.

  16. Costa-guy says:

    I totally understand your point of view (because it is running through my head too) but what is this fuss all about??

    the 1st deputy position??

    so hypothetically they agreed on the 1st deputy, so what?? they can’t pass a law with the others opposing plus the fact that they agreed to have their share of the “cake” as the 18/40 would give them under what is considered now as “clean” & “fair” distribution of the consistuents in the elections.

    That’s why they tried to acquire the chairman and second deputy positions on the basis of the 62% voters they gained.

    Let’s also say that as they are 18/40, they shouldn’t ask to gain these positions. The least they can do is to discuss putting who in which position which did not happen because the chairman & 2nd deputy were already chosen by the government.

    If they were involved (1st deputy to Wefaq), they could not pass a law. And if they were not involved, they could not pass a law either.

    So what’s the next smart move??

    Accept with the less amount of gains + agree on the current distribution + any future suggestion regarding the fair distribution of the consistuencies would be refused (because Wefaq is in & trying to pass this law would mean they want more seats & THIS will be refused definitly by other societies) OR oppose with a possibilty of “some” gain or “failure” not forgetting about the suggestions I put in previous comments which might get some benefits from this move

    Frankly, both sound promising and with benefits. The former sounds like what other societies are doing, the latter sounds like a typical “opposition”.

    I don’t know really.. What would (Wa’ad) do if it was in??

    For the time-being I’ll wait & trust the whole cabinet & the government. Still there are dozens of options ahead but I knew that the Parliament needs an affirmative action 😉 once I heard that Salah Ali was chosen as 2nd deputy. To me this was like saying: “The Parliament was dissolved by the order of the King and The National Security Law is on”!!

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