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That seals the fate of parliamentary life in Bahrain. Non-existent would be a gross over statement.
22 of the 40 members voted today not to put the bandarite Ahmed Attiyatallah through the discomfort of being questioned for financial irregularities.
This is a sitting minister, a member of the ruling family and the main person accused of sponsoring sectarian strife in a report released by an ex-government consultant. He has copiously indicted himself while trying to wriggle out of the Bandargate accusations, but parliament, the body which by definition is put in place to over-see the government and ensure that democracy does not get derailed, voted today to not question him resulting in the 18 members of Al-Wefaq parliamentary bloc, the sponsor of the demand to question him not in the whole affair, but just the financial irregularities which he freely admitted to, walking out of parliament.
If anyone has any reason to believe that this is actually the “new age of freedoms and democratic life” in Bahrain, then they’ve better wake up and smell the stench.
What apparently happened this morning according to an informed source is that the Asala bloc said that the Wefaq demand for interrogation was unconstitutional as it is construed as interfering in the judicial powers. The 17+1 Wefaq members withdrew in protest and to discuss the matter further, meanwhile and while the Wefaq members were out of the chamber, Salah Ali, the head of the Muslim Brotherhood Menbar bloc immediately tabled the motion to vote on the lifting of his member Mohammed Khaled’s immunity from prosecution as requested by the minister of justice in regards to the defamation case brought against him by the Bahrain Journalists’ Association’s president Isa Al-Shayji; with the 18 Wefaqis out of the picture, the remaining 22 members voted against the motion with only Adel Al-Assoumi agreeing to it and Al-Dossery abstaining, hence the vote was fully carried to oppose the lifting of Mohammed Khaled’s parliamentary immunity.
How parliament can refuse the interrogation based on their assumption that it interferes with the separate Judicial Powers and pass a motion not to lift the immunity of a member of parliament for the very same Judicial Powers to take its course is anyone’s guess at this duplicity in standards.
As to the Bandargate thing, parliament is once again expected to vote as to which committee the interrogation should be held in and that vote is apparently scheduled for Thursday.
The full BJA statement follows: