Manama, Sept. 15 (BNA): Speaker of the Council of Representatives, Ahmed bin Ibrahim Al-Mulla, has stressed that His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa’s Reform Project put forward the foundations of a democratic experience based on separation of power among the three constitutional branches, noting that the experience has proved its success despite its short period.
He pointed out that the achievements of the kingdom’s parliamentary experience during the four legislative terms, including efforts to consolidate the human rights principles, safeguard freedoms, activate legislation in the state of law and institutions, open up new horizons that supported the Executive Branch in the service of the country, and extend bridges of communication with citizens, have contributed to developing and supporting the comprehensive development process to build a better future that brings together the citizens of the nation under the umbrella of justice, freedom, equality, and the preservation of human rights and respect for the law.
Al-Mulla was speaking marking the International Day of Democracy, observed worldwide every September 15, and celebrated this year under the theme: “Democracy under Strain: Solutions for a Changing World.”
The speaker asserted that Bahrain was among the first countries to adopt the International Day of Democracy, adding that Bahrainis had unanimously adopted democracy ever since HM the King’s Accession to the Throne in 1999, and the launch of the Royal Reform Project during the same year.
Al-Mulla affirmed that the 2002 Constitution, in its first Article, strengthened democracy as it stipulated that “Citizens, both men and women, are entitled to participate in public affairs and may enjoy political rights, including the right to vote and to stand for elections, in accordance with this Constitution and the conditions and principles laid down by law. No citizen can be deprived of the right to vote or to nominate oneself for elections except by law.”
He added that 2012 constitutional amendments had regulated the Executive-Legislature relationship in order to achieve more balance between them, ensure the popular will’s representation in the government action plans and grant a greater role for the Council of Representatives, which strengthened the elected council’s supervisory role.
The speaker noted that the kingdom is gearing up for parliamentary and municipal elections later this year, which is an assertion of the continuity of the democratic process within HM King Hamad’s Reform Project which provided opportunities for the citizens’ effective political participate through voting or running as candidates in the elections.
In 2007 the United Nations General Assembly resolved to observe 15 September as the International Day of Democracy with the purpose of promoting and upholding the principles of democracy, and invited all member states and organisations to commemorate the day in an appropriate manner that contributes to raising public awareness.