Three Bahrain ministers sacked amid protests
Manama, February 26, 2011
Bahrain has reshuffled its cabinet in a further attempt to appease the Shi'ite opposition that has staged days of protests against the government, Reuters reported citing government sources.
The ministers of housing, health and cabinet affairs were among those sacked, said three government officials who did not wish to be named, adding they had not received official confirmation yet of who was being replaced.
'I called the minister last night and he told me he would be replaced,' a government source said, referring to one of the three. A spokesman for the government could not immediately be reached for comment.
Thousands of protesters have been camping at Pearl roundabout in central Manama, demanding the resignation of the cabinet and a new constitution under which the government is elected.
Crown Prince Sheikh Salman bin Hamad al-Khalifa has offered a national dialogue with the opposition, but formal talks have not yet started as the opposition groups such as Wefaq want to see a commitment to an elected government first, the Reuters report said.
The reshuffle will include appointment of Dr Majeed Al Alawi as housing minister, Dr Nazar Al Baharna as health minister, Kamal Ahmed as cabinet affairs minister, Dr Abdulhussain Mirza Oil, Gas and Electricity Minister and Jameel Humaidan Labour Minister, according to a report in Akhbar Al Khaleej.
The new cabinet will be announced within two days, it added.
Meanwhile, Bahraini opposition leader Hassan Mushaimaa arrived home from exile on Saturday.
Mushaimaa, who was being tried in absentia in an alleged coup plot, flew to Manama from Lebanon after Bahrain's foreign minister said this week that he had received a royal pardon.-Reuters