Manama, Sept. 18 (BNA)-- HRH Crown Prince Salman today delivered a framework comprising areas of common ground from Bahrain’s National Dialogue talks to His Majesty King Hamad.
In January, following a year of protracted discussions where the parties were unable to achieve an agreed agenda, His Majesty instructed the Crown Prince to overcome existing obstacles and accelerate the resumption of dialogue. The Crown Prince subsequently conducted a series of meetings with the heads of all major political societies and a number of independent MPs. These meetings outlined a set of key topics from which bilateral talks progressed under the stewardship of the Royal Court Minister.
This series of bi-lateral talks has now resulted in the delivery of a framework consisting of areas of common ground identified during the talks.
The framework contains five core elements:
· Electoral Districts: A commitment to re-defining electoral districts to ensure greater representation and measures to further enhance electoral oversight
· Legislative Authority: A revised appointment process for members of the Shura Council (Parliament’s second chamber). Measures to protect the legislative cycle from interruption and the ability for Parliament to question the actions of Ministers, including the Prime Minister and his deputies
· Cabinet Formation: New rights of approval for Parliament on the appointment of the Cabinet, including the right to seek amendments of, or reject the government’s annual plan
· Judicial Reform: A commitment to further judicial reform, including the use of international expertise in order to entrench standards in line with international best practice and strengthen the constitutional independence of the judiciary
· Security: A recognition of the importance of national security to all Bahrain’s peoples, and a rejection of violence and commitment to the universal application of the rule of law. Security forces to be bound by new codes of conduct preserving the impartiality, probity and integrity of service
Over the past 48 hours, the Crown Prince has conducted a series of meetings with community leaders and key figures to discuss the outcomes of the current phase of National Dialogue.
While achieving welcome support, the meetings also saw the call for active participation in the forthcoming general election, reflecting the role and constitutional authority of the National Assembly’s elected representatives in enacting the Dialogue’s major outcomes.
Over a decade ago His Majesty King Hamad initiated a process of wide-ranging political and economic reform, underpinned by the National Action Charter laying down the main principles of Bahrain’s reform programme. The delivery of the framework today by the Crown Prince, is a continuation of Bahrain’s ongoing political development and reform, advancing individual rights, justice and increasing long-term stability in the Kingdom.
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BNA 1909 GMT 2014/09/18
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Last updated : 09 : 50 PM - 18/09/2014