Tag Archives elections

All bets are in, Saidi to win!

Jassim Al-Saidi aka Deputy DawgYep, you heard it here first guys, but I’m sure that lovely old ditty “that loving feeling” might have been playing in your minds non-stop, but today, the main guy running against the effervescent ex-MP and soon to be re-anointed to the chamber Jassim Al-Saidi has announced his departure (Arabic) from the race; thus, Saidi virtually has no one running against him any more!

This is the guy who’s (been told to) given up:

Mohammed Shaheen Touq Al-Buainain

And now, look at the lovelies remaining in that constituency.

God help us!

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Disgusted

I don’t know if there is a more appropriate word which could describe how I feel about what I hear and read regarding the elections, or rather, the stupid inane posturing by the government on one hand, and some of the candidates on the other. Each desperately digs holes for the other to fall in, and once again, we – the normal people of these islands – are left to pick up the pieces.

May I remind everyone that there WILL be life after these elections have come and gone?

Everyone should keep that fact in the forefront of their minds when doing or evaluating any action in their desperation to get into parliament, or even with the seemingly very transparent and unorthodox attempts of the government to keep some of them out!

So we have the “he said, she said” scenarios all over the place, add to that a dash of “he started it first” and this summarises what’s going on at the moment. Absolutely childish and tiring.

So, to the government: if you don’t want this democracy thing which by definition shares your power with the people, then just come out and say it. What is anyone in this country going to do? Object? So what, that didn’t stop you from ruling for almost three centuries! But having those alleged 8,000 mobile, ready and willing illegally registered voters (we’re told that they can vote in any constituency they like) to push into any constituency to ensure your selected candidate win is a bit gauche. That of course and your play of insisting on having the “general” voting centres which are conveniently placed in areas where your naturalized citizens don’t have to drive too far from Saudi to cast their directed votes, or use them to receive some or all of those 8,000 mobile voting task force, or even the newly naturalized citizens who probably feel a bit insecure about going to the regular voting centres to cast their ballot, completely ignoring the constitutional requirement of banning all recently naturalized citizens from doing so for at least 10 years, are of course all very transparent actions in biased and gerrymandered elections.

Not to forget that the black cloud of Bandargate is still smothering us so completely that we have no choice whatsoever – as proud citizens – but to consider the possibility that all the allegations it contained are actual facts. Else, why are people named and shamed in that world famous report still holding their positions in government and – if the papers are to be believed – still have a hand in diverting the course of the elections? And even more damning, why isn’t there even a simple statement from government negating the facts or telling us that they actually are doing something about the situation? This indifference by the authorities is the most damaging thing both the the morale of the people of Bahrain, and to the reputation of the government internationally.

All of these cannot be interpreted in any way other than the realisation of the complete and utter breakdown of trust between the rulers and the ruled.

As to the candidates: may I remind you ladies and gentlemen that as you have chosen to enter the fray, you can no longer enter it with a pure “opposition” mindset? You cannot continue to just assume the very worse of the government (yes, I know it is extremely difficult and I did do it above and stand by it, however you are representatives of the people are supposed to be the creme de la creme and should be much better than yours truly.)

What you need to do is to think that you are partners and should get into parliament wanting and demanding to be treated as partners to develop this country and ensure that its resources are justly distributed.

Sure, there are a lot of things to fix, and yes, the constitution we are lumbered with is not the best in the world, but you need to prioritise your goals and concentrate on development, not on sectarian differences and completely maligning your competitors and calling their loyalties into question. It has turned to a dirty campaign, and the dirtiest surely can’t win.

Look at what our esteemed BD500-a-month-for-sale ex-MP Dr. Salah Ali and what he’s doing in the Central District’s constituency 4: allegedly sending sectarian, disloyal, seditious text messages to the people of that constituency against his opposition, who are known for their loyalty to the people of Bahrain and have rendered countless services to them. Telling them that they are non-believers, and that they will shut down mosques immediately they get into parliament, and the various other underhanded methods of trying to re-win the seat that he would never have dreamt of occupying had the boycotting societies decided to enter the game in 2002.

He’s so desperate now that I am told that he personally is going out in the neighbourhoods knocking on door after door begging for votes, and allegedly writing cheques to buy votes, this is the “scandal” that we have woken up to this morning, with one Ahmed Al-Mutairi (whose personality is also surrounded by infamy, it is alleged) receiving a BD100 cheque in lieu of him changing his address into Dr. Salah Ali’s constituency and promising to vote for him… from Dr. Salah Ali, ALLEGEDLY, of course. Well, it seems that even the good doc didn’t learn from Bandargate and just use cash, the stupid twat. I wonder how many of these cheques the twerp wrote so far, if he is – most probably – being financed to try to get him into parliament again by the likes of, ehm, Voldermort, then he’s got to keep receipts!

And then, Salah Ali, you’re not worth even Munira‘s discarded cut toe nails! Give up already.

The story is repeated of course everywhere else in Bahrain that has a candidate running against the Islamist Asala and Minbar blocs (Wahabi and Muslim Brotherhood respectively), and they are the only blocs in this campaign who are actively sectarian and completely pro-government (though my interpretation of being pro-anything is to constructively criticise to make better, rather than just lapping whatever juices emanating from the body of government and saying can I have some more please.)

What they should do, whoever gains our votes to get into parliament this time, a time where all political forces are participating hence the boys will be separated from the men (barring the 8k mobile task force and other electronic shenanigans), is to concentrate on ways to shadow the cabinet and really take the government to task regarding its management of the country.

So technocrats should most certainly be fielded – and they are this time – so that a bloc contains all it needs from talent and knowledge to really do their job; they need an economist to look at the economic policies and suggest laws to encourage business and investment, they need a financial analyst so that he can decipher the budgets and find the hidden nooks and crannies and expose them, they need an education specialist to enable ways to correct the huge disparity in education in our public schooling system, and lawyers to formulate these laws and of course media specialists so that they can destroy the Ministry of disInformation and its apparatus so we can get to information unhindered, repeal the heinous press and publications law and task those people in these disciplines and others to concentrate on their areas of specialty and never let the government to get away with it ever again.

And above all, restore our robbed freedoms by the previous parliament.

9 more days to go… I can hardly wait!

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Another ‘Bahraini Tale’

One that is MUCH more odious than the plot and discord in Bassam Al-Thawadi’s movie. This one, is also infinitely more dangerous and if no stop is put to it, this country should have a “flush now” lever attached to it, because that is where we are headed.

Over the last few days, 15 prospective candidates gave up the fight and hung their swords. Some I am sure discovered that there was now way for them to compete in the fray and they did good by cutting their losses early and bailing out, others just entered the elections in the first place to probably just get the “key money” they would be offered to get out of the way, while others have been pushed, harassed, cajoled to do so by various “non”-political sources, at least, that’s what they want to call themselves and we know that they are anything but.

So what’s happened then? The religious clerics put the kabbash on some candidates to get out of the way in favour of other turbans or beards! How about that for a good party trick? How do they do it? Well, think of the nod that a mafia boss does in those movies and you probably will get the picture.

Once that signal is given, the “apparatus” goes into overdrive: mosque preachers bleat the virtues of the selected one, while nefariously besmirches the opposition. So they bray out things like: “Only elect the believers!

Of course, as they alone hold the exclusive keys to Heaven, it is only their sanctioned form of believers who are meant by this; why don’t you give us a CPR number and name why don’t you? Anyway, the content of the message of course is to tell people that the marked person is a non-believer! They have summarily excommunicated him politically, and of course their followers, being the true sheep they are, would just acquiesce to their demands unquestioningly. Ma’atems (on the other side of the spectrum) are just as bad using the same tactic more or less, and the result? Good people who have proven their mettle and who actually did attempt make a difference in the last parliament are chased out of the loop!

withdraw instructions given in favour of turbans

Now is this legal? Ah, who gives a damn? When the people who have ALLEGEDLY paid good money to incumbent candidates and ALLEGEDLY have also paid for tents and chairs and ALLEGEDLY put members of parliament on a stipend for services rendered and to be rendered and ALLEGEDLY paid even members of the appointed Shura council for hand written reports and recommendations are all still in their cushy government enclaves, untouched and unmolested! (did I forget an ALLEGEDLY anywhere in this paragraph? Please put it where it should go would ya?)

Look at all the papers over the last couple of weeks, and today’s in particular, we see two more candidates specifically giving up seats for turbans. I called one of them (Jassim Abdul’aal) and viciously complained that he is doing away with the trust placed on him by the whole of Bahrain if he does in fact give up the fight. He complained that there is really no point as regardless of his good history in the last parliament and within his community, a turban will always be selected over and above him.

And there goes the liberal stream in the 2006 parliament… I just hope that we will get at least a couple in there to shout loud enough to be heard above the din and shouts of “Allahu Akbar” the various Ayatollahs and Binladens would utter unbidden between brainfarts, because this is what the forthcoming chamber is looking like at the moment.

If you guys have any influence on liberals, please do write to them and/or talk to them to convince them to stand their ground. Bahrain desperately needs them. It doesn’t really need too many turbans and beards in there… what the hell will they do all day in parliament, take various breaks for prayer, even further restrict our personal freedoms and our freedoms of speech because they interpret those as against their version or Islam?

And may Allah have mercy on our souls. But before he does, let’s kick the liberals’ joint ass to elevate their game by at least staying in the running for Bahrain’s sake!

My vote, as if you needed told, would most definitely go to Wa’ad (sorry, can’t provide a link, their site is still blocked) or the new National Unity group.

Al-Wefaq and the others need not bother knock on my door.

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Brainfarting season has started, officially

This site’s blocking order notwithstanding, it is quite apparent that the official brainfarting season has started in earnest. Take a look at this gem for instance:

jalalalsharqi-salahali.jpgشن الشيخ جلال الشرقي يوم أمس (السبت) حملة ضد من أسماهم ‘’الليبراليين والعلمانيين واللادينيين’’ من جانب، وعلى الصحافيين الذين يهاجمون رجال الدين والإسلاميين من جانب آخر، أثناء حديثه في الخيمة المشتركة لكل من مترشحي المنبر الإسلامي في ‘’ثالثة الوسطى’’ إبراهيم الحادي للمجلس النيابي وعدنان المالكي للمجلس البلدي. إذ طالب الحاضرين ‘’لا تضعوا أيديكم في يد من هم على غير التيار الإسلامي، فأنتم محاسبون أمام الله إن نال صوتكم أولئك، فكل منكم يحمل أمانة والله عز وجل يحذرنا من خيانة هذه الأمانة، ولن تجدوا أفضل ممن قرر الوحدة في قائمة واحدة بين الأصالة والمنبر لنصرتكم ونصرتنا’’. وأكد ‘’أقسم بالله، أنهم الصادقون، عند الشدائد، وهم من يتمسك بسنة الله ورسوله، وكل من يرشح غير من يعمل لوجه الله فهو آثم’’. وتابع ‘’هناك عدد من الصحافيين الدخلاء، الذين لا يكلون ولا يملون من اتهام الشرفاء، والترويج للعلمانيين والليبراليين، ويعملون ضد الإسلام والمسلمين ومن ينصرهم، ولكن لن نترك المجال للفاسدين وليقولوا ما يريدون ويا (جبل ما هزك ريح)’’. أما النائب المترشح رئيس كتلة المنبر الإسلامي صلاح علي فدعا إلى ‘’التصويت لمن يؤمن بالقرآن ويدافع عنه، فإذا كان من ضمن جمعية أو كتلة فذلك يزيد من حظوظه وليصل صوتكم المبارك إليه’’.

That big fellow is Jalal Al-Sharqi, he’s supposed to be a “shaikh”, a religious clergyman, seems to be well fed for someone who’s supposed to be in the service of God and his creations, looking after them and giving alms to the poor and favouring others over himself, etc etc.

That other guy to his left – who seems to be rather enjoying a juicy, fresh, loogy, is ex-MP Salah Ali, he’s supposed to be a doctor of some sort, so maybe he knows what we don’t and there are nutritious benefits to picking one’s nose and eating its produce. Hey, what do I know.. the picture is indeed worth thousands of words.

The words emanating from the respected scholar; however, leave a lot to be desired. Let me clue you in:

This auspicious gathering of birds of a feature is in one of the elections campaign headquarters, a tent put up for the purpose in a transitory fashion maybe to show the voters that they too will only be required temporarily only to submit their tick mark on a ballot, and then forgotten forthwith by those people who seem to be all of a sudden to be the champions of the Bahraini citizen (and otherwise), and the poor and destitute. So come hither, friends, come and partake of Salah Ali’s bounty!

I didn’t read the election law, but I am fairly sure based on logic – if that quality is indeed used in forming laws in Bahrain – that you shouldn’t use religion, religious speeches to further your chances of winning, nor should you use or allow your venue to be used by 3rd parties to do so.

This is the proof of one of countless other transgressions hopeful MPs are utilising. The 3rd party here, the right honourable scholar is lambasting the people and ordering them NOT to vote for anyone HE and his ilk deem to be un-Islamic, heretic, liberal and westernised in any form whatsoever, and he also added to that illustrious list journalists who “habitually transgress on Islam” etc, promising those who do his version of hellfire in which they will ever last.

Oh, and did I not also mention that the connoisseur of jellyfied phlegm is also one of the heroes of bandargate? How utterly irresponsible of me. Sorry.

So these are the kind of people who are shamelessly putting themselves forward to represent us in this great country… the dregs of society.

They’re using threats, coercion, religious extremism, false promises, cajoling, negative publicity, accusing their competitors of treason… hey! hang on a minute! That really sounds like we arrived at real democracy! Yippee! I am thrilled to bits.

So carry on spreading your poison, and continue to classify this great society and you might as well print labels or buttons which simple have one word each on them: “For” and “Against” and distribute those so that you can actually filter out the whole society to your liking. To hell with anti-sectarianism and anti-discrimination, because those concepts just have no place in your sick minds.

Something else Bahrain can be proud of 😉

Incidentally, this is the very FIRST post post-Mahmood’s Den-blocking era!

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Dhahrani’s Posse

Yesterday, Khalifa Al-Dhahrani reneged on his decision not to run for the 2nd term of parliament, by not only registering his candidature, but acted as the protagonist in a cheap play by having a posse of 20 people behind him; most notable tails were a bevy of MPs including: Abdulaziz Al-Mousa, Ahmed Behzad (independents, they call themselves, Behzad is the architect and approver of the most restrictive laws which eminated from his committee in the last parliament); Hamad Al-Muhannadi (Asala, Wahabi) and Salah Ali (of Bandargate fame, on the receiving end apparantly) and Abdullatif Al-Shaikh (Muslim Brotherhood, Minbar) as well as our favourite brain-fartist Jassim Al-Saidi (newly formed Wahabi Morons, Inc. membership forms available by doing an Ahmed Attiyatallah and paying Saidi a non-refundable BD3,000 cheque for services rendered to raise the sectarian temperature in the island, he’ll even sign the receipt, no problem.)

The last minute entrance, although he would like to think is being dramatic, the fact of the matter Harry is much better at it. Nevertheless, his excuse is that he was in conference with God, as he does every Ramadhan in the last 10 days. Don’t know what they were talking about (I think it really was just a single-sided conversation if you ask me, and Dhahrani has the hammer) but I guess he interpreted the conversation that he has to do his public duty and place his posterior on an already reserved Speaker of the House leather seat.

All that doesn’t concern me really, it’s politics after all. What really got my goat is the report (arabic) that said that not only was he accompanied by the aforementioned well trained MPs, but within his posse were quite a number of the Chamber’s workers! Sure, they’re citizens and they have every right to support a candidate of their choice, but in my book this is a conflict of interest to say the very least. And as he keeps patting his own shoulders saying that he has had a very long experience in politics and parliaments (hah!) he should have told at least those workers to bugger off as what they are doing is a conflict of interest, and that they are working for the people rather than Dhahrani Est.

So to those who actually work in the illustrious and hushed (normally) halls of abrogated power, could you please tell your colleagues that this is not a “good thing™” to have done, as it shows that they are directly employed by Dhahrani, rather than employed by the people. What they should have done is distance themselves from him until (not if unfortunately) their boss returns to his roost.

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MoI threatens websites.. again.

They’re using that old “protecting Islam” chestnut again, here’s the copy:

أغلقت موقعي «صوت الحق» و«إسلاميات»
«الإعلام» ترصد المواقع الإلكترونية المسيئة للإسلام

صرح القائم بأعمال مدير إدارة المطبوعات والنشر في وزارة الإعلام حسن عون بان الوزارة تحرص على رصد المواقع التي تسيء الى الإسلام والى شخص الرسول الكريم، خصوصا بعد الموجة التي تفشت في معظم دول العالم المعادية للإسلام، ونتيجة لذلك تم حصر اكثر من موقع الكتروني وقد تم إغلاق بعضها في الآونة الأخيرة. وأضاف بان وزير الإعلام ووزير الدولة للشؤون الخارجية قد اصدر مؤخرا قرارا بإغلاق موقعي ‘’صوت الحق’’ و’’إسلاميات’’ حيث انهما من المواقع التي تسيء الى شخص الرسول (صلى الله عليه وسلم) وللدين الإسلامي. وأوضح أن وزارة الاعلام تؤكد في هذا الصدد انها لا تألوا جهدا في التصدي لكل المواقع التي تتعارض مع قانون الصحافة والطباعة والنشر لسنة ,2002 وان الجهود مستمرة في رصد كل المواقع التي تسيء لديننا الحنيف والى شخص الرسول الكريم.

Al-Waqt :: 11 Oct, ’06

It really doesn’t matter what they’re saying in that paragraph, other than to understand that the Ministry of disInformation has decided to close a couple of websites they deem to be anti-Islamic (while they leave much more poisonous ones well alone); however, the important thing is to look at that underlined sentence (my emphasis) which states that the Ministry will have no compunction in closing down or at least blocking any site that contravenes the Press & Publications Law 47 of 2002.

They’ve said that before, but why are they reiterating it again? If your answer was to emphasize the illegal act – as freedom of speech is an inalienable human right – that sites too are not allowed to write about Bandargate you have won yourself a Just Bahraini button! Call me to pick yours up.

That demonstrates to me that Mr. Hassan Oan, the guy who appears to have taken over from Jamal Dawood, has been taught well by his predecessor, who is now much in the throws of his parliamentary election campaign which incidentally is completely paid for by Ahmed Attiyatallah, yes, the generous author of the very same cheques central to Bandargate. In Dawood’s case, receiving BD 2,200: BD 1,000 for organising a football tourney and BD 1,200 for a tent! How cheap can you get? And you call this person who demanded the registration of websites “to help them” trustworthy and doesn’t have any altruistic motives if he can be bought? [1] [2]

Which brings me to the laugh of the day…

The first page of the Bandargate reportThe national papers wrote a letter (are you shaking in your slippers yet?), yes my friends, the guardians of free speech on this island, all 6 of them, wrote a letter of objection to the High Criminal Court judge licking his shoes and explaining to him their point of view that them, ya’ani, being banned from writing anything about the Bandargate report [blush] will only drive people to other news avenues most of which will not be as responsible as their good selves are [uncontrollable giggles].

They received a reply (arabic) which they published on their front pages basically telling them to bugger off and behave themselves and continue to be acquiescent morons toeing the line. OR ELSE!

Or else what for God’s sake? Ban the newspaper from going to print for a few days? What the hell matter would that be anyway? They’re all financed through huge big pipes that would not even notice even a moderate drop in its flow pressure. Make a STAND Goddammit! What are you put there for in the first place? Aren’t you supposed to be the fourth Estate?

If I was one of their publishers, I would just print a completely blank paper with NO NEWS at all, white spaces where all their articles would be, but just keep the advertising blocks. I bet that had that been done that that paper’s sale would have skyrocketed on that day (yes, all it takes is a single print to make the point) and the pressure will have increased many fold and redirected on the court to rescind that brain-dead decision.

Ooo what a happy day!

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One down, several to go to regain confidence

e-Voting has been shelved until 2010, where the same arguments will take place unless voter confidence is regained in the wake of Bandargate. The government has been keeping mum about the situation, probably praying that it too will be forgotten. After all, other scandals have. Do you still remember what happened with the Social Insurance? And that has been “investigated” by parliament no less, yet, no criminal charges or charges of any kind have been levied at those in the wrong, and they haven’t even been relieved of their positions yet.

So can we expect that Bandargate will result in anything concrete? Of course not. It’s been three weeks now since that report has been released and all we got is continued bluster and the people named and shamed in that report still report to work quite diligently, completely secure in the knowledge that someone is protecting their backs. In fact the only hilarious thing that has happened – in the way of a response if you will – is the release of another Bandar report last week, but that one stunk quite badly.. “someone” decided in their (hasty) and (finite) wisdom that they should release another version and list some opposition names so that they can muddy the waters a bit. More proof that whoever did that should have been drowned at birth and thus save Bahrainis a further humiliation. That brainfartist included illustrious and much respected names like Dr. Abdulaziz Abul, Ibrahim Sharif, Muneera Fakhro, Abdulhadi Al-Khawaja, et al.

Bahrain's smart cardThe CIO, that much beloved organisation at the centre of Bandargate, held a press conference yesterday morning to tell the press and political societies their amended view on electronic voting. They initially said that they will limit the voting percentage wise and use Internet voting to a certain number of Bahraini expatriates. Incredulous? Perfectly so, but being an Arab I knew that was nothing more than a face saving gesture.. if they actually have any face left to save that is. Well, the first thing is that 8 political societies boycotted that meeting! Then, when the news came out of this “face saving gesture” activists hit the roof.. much more importantly; however, it seems that the king has too! So, he slapped Shaikh Ahmed down, the result of which he (or some of his minions) called the national press around 9pm last night and told them that

“We have referred a recommendation following the meeting to the executive director of the elections process not to use the e-voting system in the 2006 elections and rely on the mechanism used in the 2002 elections,” Shaikh Ahmed said.

“We will work together in the next four years to prepare the community and the political societies on the e-voting system and we hope that it will be welcomed by all.”

Yeah sure.. the other one plays Jingle Bells quite nicely when pulled!

So it’s dead and buried. That’s one thing that the king has graciously taken care of finally, thank you your majesty. Please do not stop there; though, your citizens require a few more steps to get them to re-believe in the country and your government. The least of which is sending Shaikh Ahmed on an extended holiday somewhere nice, and as he will be on sabbatical after the long and arduous work he has thanklessly done – especially through signing so many documents of the half-A5 size – he deserves the break. And while we’re at it, why not cancel that smart card thing? Okay okay, you’ve spent far too much money on that thing so far, but at least it’s a lot less than what Shaikh Ahmed has buying prospective members of parliament (yes, including the illustrious and very cheap Jamal Dawood who once wanted all websites to register at his department at the Ministry of Disinformation) and their likes. Or at least reduce the amount of information stored on it to the minimum until proper laws protecting the privacy of information are coded.

Much more important than all of this of course is the formation of a investigative committee into Bandargate and ensure that they get access to whatever and whoever they need and publish their findings transparently and bring charges to all those involved in such a heinous and evil plan.

Please?

I think the time is very right to re-establish the trust of Bahrainis in their government; as everybody I spoke to, and judging by most of the articles in the national papers, that trust has all but disappeared and it requires YOUR radical intervention to allow us all to turn a new page before the elections come about.

Because if reparations are not made before then, you will probably find that people just couldn’t care less about the elections.

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Finally, Elections declared for Nov 25th, 2006

Bahrain Elections - image credit: Al-Wasat Newspaper - http://alwasatnews.comThank you your Majesty! We finally know that (a) the march toward democracy is continuing, which is a relief, and (b) we can finally get rid of the bozos who took the last elections boycotting move by the opposition to slip between the cracks and get themselves a cushy job.

Regarding the boycotting, I’m actually happy that that happened as I tend to look at the previous parliament – in technogeek parlance – as a pre-Alpha version. We now at least know what to expect.

The challenges for those forming the next parliament are of course huge, and as people know now what to expect from this democracy thing, they will be monitored a lot more closely, and they will be held accountable for their brainfarts.

The next parliament should be concerned with re-establishing unity within Bahrain, this sectarian thing is really tiring, and removes the spotlights from the real issues which should be discussed.

As far as I’m concerned, the new parliament should have the following priorities, amongst many I am sure, but here’s my list:

    1. Constitutional amendments, bring the good points of the 1973 constitutions back into the 2002 document and strengthen the role of parliament in overseeing government and give them the required tools to hold them accountable for their actions.
    2. Remove all restrictions to freedoms that have been set by the previous parliament. Most important of which is the retooling of the Press and Publications Law 47 of 2002, the Public Assembly Law, and open up the media ownership laws and allow the formation of various publications, radio and television stations without the debilitating hurdles designed in the previous attempts to regulate the media.
    3. Remove the reservations to the Human Rights documents submitted to the United Nations and change the laws which contradicts that document.
    4. Fight corruption. Seriously, fight corruption and enact laws to ensure the transparent running of the country
    5. Fair distribution of wealth. Need I say more?

I’m sure we all can add to this list, so if you have something that you think should be tackled by the next parliament, please list them in a comment, maybe we can create a document that we can actually send to each and every candidate to include in their electioneering campaign and then hold them to their promises.

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The flood gates are opening… slowly

I love this guy, Shaikh Salman bin Sager writes a daily column (arabic) in Al-Wasat and is normally hilarious, but cuts to the point and says things that other journalists won’t dare tackle. And maybe because he is part of the royal family he can criticise without having his loyalty continuously questioned. We need more like him, and fast.

Today, he once again ripped the embattled Shaikh Ahmed another hole, if you would pardon the course expression, and in no uncertain terms demanded his resignation from both his official positions. He rightly attributes this demand to save the untold damage that his continued occupation of those offices will do to the propriety of the forthcoming municipal and parliamentary elections in light of Bandargate, let alone the much contentious electronic voting they’re still trying to ram down our throats.

Shaikh Salman bin Sager Al-Khalifa

والصراحة التي هي فوق الصراحة هي أن من أعطاه وظيفة مستشار (استرا… تيجي) مازال في موقعه وكاتماً على أنفاسنا في عملية التصويت الإلكتروني للاستحقاقات القادمة، وهو المتمكن والمتحكم في عملية التصويت للمجلس النيابي والمجلس البلدي القادمين… والسؤال المطروح الآن هو كيف نثق في سير عملية الانتخابات القادمة ونزاهة التصويت والذي جاء لنا بهذا (البندر) من الممكن أن يأتي لنا بعدد أكبر من البنادر… وإذا استمر هذا المسئول موجوداً لإدارة عملية التصويت فنحن حينها سنصوت في خرابة.

أنا أقولها من الآن… إذا لم يصدر الأمر بعزل من كان سبباً في غليان الشارع البحريني، واستمر في وظيفتيه (وليس وظيفته) الحساستين، واللتان فيهما مصالح العباد ويشرفان على عملية التصويت القادم فستكون الانتخابات القادمة في خبر كان… وسنستبدل المثل القائل نؤذن في خرابة إلى نصوت في خرابة…

Shaikh Salman rightly says that this fiasco has not been handled properly at all, and it has already damaged the credibility of the government. He further says that in reality if those implicated are not removed (not allowed step aside mind you, but removed, and I fully agree, as this decisive action will – might – get the forthcoming elections regain their credibility, such is the damage done) then we might as well forget about the elections altogether. No one would believe in their outcome.

Therefore, I demand that all political societies declare their unequivocal position now, stop this shy nonsense and demand their removal. They have been given enough chances to do the honourable thing and none of them have, so it is high time that they are removed from those positions immediately.

Nothing else would actually do; none of those implicated even came forward to clear his name and they knew about this report for weeks, which leads me to believe what Dr. Al-Bandar said is the truth! But regardless, truth or lies, it is far too late for any of those named to get out of their holes all squeaky clean, they were avaricious, unpatriotic, sectarian, traitorous morons to the community that nurtured them, and being fired from their positions is the very least they should get.

If they are not immediately removed, then I would fully support an elections boycott, and rightly so.

Can you imagine the implications of this action? The 90s will be a picnic in a peaceful field in comparison to what would come up…

After their expulsion from their positions, the king himself or at least the crown prince should head a panel of inquiry whose findings should be completely transparent and if the panel finds that those people were rightly implicated, they should be tried for the crimes they have committed and pay for them dearly.

Those implicated don’t seem to care however, or maybe they do know that they are above the law, for not only were they not ashamed enough and human enough to do the honourable thing and resign their positions, they allegedly released a doctored report trying to shift (not enlarge!) the blame and implications to known opposition figures.

The temerity of some people!

So do us all a favour and resign for God’s YOUR sakes!

And if you’re a (soon to be or are an) out of work bum and have been implicated like the various so called MPs still defending Shaikh Ahmed to the death, then take heed of what his cousin, another member of the royal family, is doing: standing with what is RIGHT is always the honourable thing to do, and you would be much more loyal to your country by doing so, rather than continuing to bleat like paid-for sheep defending the indefensible.

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It’s sooooo quiet

Traditionally, if something happens in Bahrain that even touches on perceived loyalties to the ruling family, or lack thereof, we get full- or at least half-page adverts crying foul and heavily beating chests in demonstration of the advertiser’s eternal love and loyalty to the royal family, or person, or both, at the cost of “those others” whose loyalty is forever in question.

Strange, as Sawsan Al-Shaer noted[1], that none of these “traditional” paid adverts and chest beatings didn’t appear in any of our newspapers! Not once. But I know why, it’s because the well is firmly shut at the moment and the guy is very hesitant to sign any cheques. For now at least. In the absence of a clear denunciation of those tactics employed which Bandargate brought to light, especially by so called religious men, and as there is apparently no intention whatsoever to do the right thing and announce the formation of a fact finding committee, those funds might soon find their ways to the begging hands of bought and paid for men and women.

What we do have however, is this (arabic), from the bought and paid-for “news”paper; an article that (allegedly) bought and paid-for people mentioned in Dr. Bandar’s report queuing up in support of Shaikh Ahmed Attiyatallah rather than doing the right thing and at least asking him to step aside until an investigation clears his name. Can you smell it yet?

Rock on baby…

Just for those who couldn’t be bothered to read the link above, let me save you the trouble and display the pictures of those (allegedly) bought and paid-for gentlemen, either directly implicated in the report, or they think they’ve done themselves a favour and are running to support Shaikh Ahmed maybe in the hope that he will include them in his largess too at some point in the future?:

Bahraini Politicians for Sale! Going cheap!

[1] hat tip: Hussain Marhoon

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