The representatives of five societies have announced to part ways with the ongoing national dialogue in Bahrain.
Participants from the coalition and from government as well independent members from the bicameral parliament slammed the decision as “irresponsible,” stressing that they would continue to attend the sessions and that their decision stems from their keenness on the country’s national interest.
They held the five societies fully responsible for their failure to assume their roles in continuing the dialogue as well as for the citizens’ disappointment in their record in the participation in the political work and in the nation building process.
They underlined the following points:
All participating parties in the National Dialogue on the political issues have taken part in it since His Majesty the King called for working together to accomplish more political achievements and reach a consensus on sustainable political reforms to be added to the constitutional, statutory and procedural amendments.
Over the past months, the five societies continued to disrupt the dialogue and hamper any progress through their rejection to engage in an agenda, retreat on consensual decisions and working on ensuring the failure of the dialogue process. Meanwhile, the remaining parties have worked responsibly and under profound national commitment to maintaining the dialogue and pressing ahead with its agenda, away from any form of wrangling and pre-set conditions submitted by the five societies to impede the progress of the dialogue.
While all parties agreed to temporarily suspend the dialogue’s general sessions and engage in consultations during the Holy Month of Ramadan, the five societies triggered an unprecedented escalation that was accompanied by street violence, terrorism and blasts that targeted citizens’ lives. Instead of denouncing those acts, the five societies tried to cast doubt on them or provide a justification by declaring support to the so called “August 14 Movement” which failed thanks to the people’s conviction of the uselessness of violence, sabotage and acts of terrorism.
What happened at that time, alongside mounting terrorism, resulted in the National Assembly issuing a series of recommendations which reflected a popular determination to stand together and united against those terror incidents? The recommendations underscored the need to enforce the law against the perpetrators and instigators of the terror acts, to commit to peaceful political work and take the needed security measures while preserving the principles of human rights and carrying on with the National Dialogue as an option adopted by the nation.
The general sessions of the National Dialogue resumed after the Holy Month of Ramadan vacation even though the acts of violence which caused many injuries and damages in public and private properties did not stop. Moreover, targeting the security officers persisted, claiming lives, the most recent of which was the death of a police officer on Tuesday after he succumbed to injuries he sustained in a terror blast in Al Dair on August 17. Another security officer sustained serious injury on Wednesday.
The five societies suspended their participation in a session two weeks ago under the pretext that an administrative resolution has been issued. They have now declared an open suspension of their participation under pretexts which could only be described as a manoeuvre to stall the dialogue.
With this regard, the representatives of the coalition and the government and the independent members from the legislative branch assert that the dialogue does not mean disrupting the state and encroaching on the sovereignty of the law. On the contrary, the dialogue, which is based on consolidating achievements, can only be built on a security basis for all citizens and residents as no one is above the law.
Political development, brought about by the royal reform through the National Action Charter and the constitution, cannot emanate from political societies that adopt violence as an approach and support its perpetrators or provide a political cover for it. Political development cannot be accomplished through sectarian political organisations that seek to drive wedges and threaten civil peace, nor can it be achieved by resorting to foreign parties to interfere in the domestic affairs of the country-something that is categorically rejected both at the official and popular levels.
Eighth: have adopted since 2011, be it by quitting the Council of Representatives and refusing to return to it or rejecting the dialogue initiative launched by His Royal Highness the Crown Prince, boycotting the parliamentary by-elections, boycotting the national committee for the follow-up on the implementation of the recommendations of the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry (BICI) and boycotting the National Dialogue in 2011 with one society declaring that it would boycott the next parliamentary elections, leave no room for doubt that there is a real political bankruptcy. There is a pattern that refuses participation and consensus as well as a deliberate trend to waste opportunities and the national achievements and to push the Bahraini society into a cycle of violence.
With regard to this background and developments, the representatives of the coalition and the government and the independent members from the legislative branch have decided to maintain their tripartite discussions in coordination with the dialogue sessions management.