World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Consultative Council (Bahrain)

Article Id: WHEBN0003213598
Reproduction Date:

Title: Consultative Council (Bahrain)  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Khalifa Al Dhahrani, Bahraini opposition, Bahraini independence survey, 1970, Economists Bloc, Foreign relations of Bahrain
Collection:
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Publication
Date:
 

Consultative Council (Bahrain)

Consultative Council
Type
Type
Seats 40 members
Meeting place
Manama
Website
.bh.gov.shurawww
This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of
Bahrain

The Consultative Council (Majlis al-shura) is the name given to the upper house of the National Assembly, the main legislative body of Bahrain.

The Council comprises forty members appointed directly by the King of Bahrain. The forty seats of the Consultative Council combined with the forty elected seats of the Council of Representatives form the National Assembly of Bahrain. All laws (except for "Royal decrees") have to be passed by both chambers of the Assembly. This allows technical expertise and minority communities a role within the legislative process: in Bahrain, a Bahraini Christian woman, Alees Samaan and a Bahraini Jewish man have been appointed. After there was widespread disappointment that no women were elected to the lower house in 2002's general election, four women were appointed to the Consultative Council.

Alees Samann made history in the Arab world on 18 April 2004 when she became the first woman to chair a session of parliament in the region. The BBC reported: "Incidents of this kind in the Arab world are increasingly being seen as signs of a gradual change towards more open and democratic societies in the entire region."

Supporters of the system refer to democracies such as the United Kingdom and Canada which operate the same bicameral model with an appointed upper chamber and an elected lower chamber. However, the government which nominates citizens to the upper chamber is accountable to the members of the lower house, and therefore the British and Canadian electorates respectively. Further, while these upper chambers each hold a constitutional veto over legislation, it is heavily restricted by constitutional and political convention.

Critics state that the ruling family has sought to use the appointed Consultative Council to guarantee veto power over all legislation. The council includes Faisal Fulad, an activist accused in the Bandargate scandal of illegally receiving a monthly stipend of BD500 (US$ 1,326) for fomenting sectarian hatred.

Following a political reconciliation between the government and the four party Shia Islamist Al Wefaq-led opposition, there have been persistent rumours that the government is preparing to nominate their activists to the Shura Council. While government officials have denied the plan, reports in the press in April 2006 claimed that opposition leaders have received assurances from a government middleman that some of their iconic figures could be appointed to the Shura. The report added that the opposition leaders "neither accepted nor rejected the offer, but promised to study it carefully".[1]

Two members of the Consultative Council, both of them women, have been appointed to the cabinet: Dr Nada Haffadh became Bahrain's first woman cabinet minister in 2004 when she became Minister of Health; the second woman to be appointed to the cabinet, Social Affairs Minister Dr Fatima Baloushi, also previous served on the Council.

The chairman of the Consultative Council serves as the chairman of the joint National Assembly of Bahrain when it meets. The term of the council is four years, and the next term will begin after in the autumn of 2006.

Representatives

40 People

See also

External links

  • Website of the Consultative Council
  • Constitution of Bahrain (2002):Part 1 The Consultative Council
  • Speed up action on Bahrain family law, urges leader, Gulf News, 15 February 2006
  • Bahrain King appoints liberal upper council to offset Islamists, Gulf News, December 7 2006
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and USA.gov, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for USA.gov and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
 
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
 
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.
 


Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.