Scepticism greets new Bahrain cabinet

Bahrain's cabinet reshuffle will offer little hope to the country or its people, a leading political activist has said.

by
    Bahrain's Foreign Affairs minister (L) has kept his post

    Dr Ali Uraibi told Aljazeera.net: "Friday's cabinet reshuffle is just that - a reshuffle. It will not bring any substantial change to the government.

    "Bahrain has faced some difficulties before, with many people protesting over the standard of living here. Bahrainis were hoping the government would make some real changes but that is not going to happen."

    Uraibi said Bahraini citizens remain dissatisfied with the government and the kingdom's poor standard of living.

    Bahraini officials were unavailable for comment.

    Consultation

    However, Shaikh Ali Salman, the head of the main Shia Muslim opposition party, welcomed the limited reshuffle - the first since 2002 in this Sunni Muslim-ruled Gulf state - but criticised the government for not consulting with parliament.

    Leading the Al Wifaq Islamic Society, Salman thinks the new cabinet is a positive move as some of the old ministers have been removed.

    "But these changes took place without consulting parliament. We would also have liked to see the numbers of royals in the cabinet decreased," he said.

    Key posts unchanged

    Bahrain's King Hamad changed the country's cabinet on Friday, creating a ministry of social affairs that will be headed by the second woman to join the government.

     

    Dr Fatima Al Balushi, a former Bahrain University College of Education dean, will join Dr Nada Haffadh, the health minister, in the Cabinet.

     

    Although the finance, information and justice ministers were replaced, strategic posts were not changed.

     

    The defence, interior, foreign affairs and oil ministers - all members of the al Khalifa family which ruled Bahrain for more than two centuries - kept their posts.

     

    Bahrain, the headquarters of the US navy's Fifth Fleet, elected its first parliament since 1973 in 2002. The outgoing government was appointed before the assembly was reinstated.

     

    The new cabinet was sworn in on Saturday.

    SOURCE: Aljazeera + Agencies


    ABOUT THE AUTHOR



    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    Russian-Saudi relations could be very different today, if Stalin hadn't killed the Soviet ambassador to Saudi Arabia.

    Interactive: Coding like a girl

    Interactive: Coding like a girl

    What obstacles do young women in technology have to overcome to achieve their dreams? Play this retro game to find out.

    The War in October: What Happened in 1973?

    The War in October: What Happened in 1973?

    Al Jazeera examines three weeks of war from which both Arabs and Israelis claimed to emerge victorious.