Bahrain King announces constitutional amendments
The Bahraini King announced Sunday constitutional amendments that give more power to the legislative authority, Xinhua reported.
Under the amendments, to resolve the parliament entails consultation from the head of the upper and lower houses, and the elected house will have the right to withdraw confidence from ministers, as well as to set up committees to conduct such questioning.
Speaking to the nation, King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa said the amendments would be reviewed to open new horizons for democracy, based on recommendations of the National Consensus Dialogue in July last year, and to reflect commitment to the stability of the nation and the unity of its people.
"These proposed amendments bring greater harmony in the relationship between the executive and legislative branches in order to achieve greater balance among them," the King said.
To empower councils concerning preparation of the state budget and legislation, the proposed amendments extend the scheduled sessions of the National Council in its both chambers, the Shura Council and the Council of Representatives, when necessary to pass draft laws regulating economic issues urgently requested by the government.
In addition, the amendments set out the competent authority for drafting bills, raising constitutional amendment proposals, proposing laws or draft constitutional amendments, and determining the necessary period of time to refer such bills to the council where the proposal was originated.
These amendments allow both councils to more easily set the state budget, in a way that helps to effectuate the new budget at the beginning of the fiscal year, and preclude the announcement of a budget of more than two fiscal years.
In line with the conclusions of the National Consensus Dialogue, these constitutional amendments aim to reflect the popular will in the formation of the government based on its program.
The Council of Representatives will discuss the government program after it swears the constitutional oath. Moreover, it has the right to approve or reject the government program, and if the program is approved, the government has secured the confidence of the council.
Bahraini leader vowed to continue with reforms, to preserving the national achievements and to accelerating progress and momentum through constitutional institutions.