Bahrain talks focus on voting rights of new citizens
Manama, July 13, 2011
Foreigners granted Bahraini citizenship being allowed to vote in elections 10 years after they get nationality was debated at the National Dialogue yesterday (July 12).
Participants also discussed the possibility of every Bahraini getting an increase of BD100 ($265) to their salaries to improve their standard of living as well as implementing a study on how to improve their income.
In another session, participants stressed the need to further boost Bahrain as an investment hub to strengthen the economy and deal with budget deficit.
Participants also raised a suggestion to establish centres dedicated to raising awareness on human rights in Bahrain, said Dialogue spokesman Isa Abdulrahman at a Press conference at the Isa Cultural Centre, Juffair.
'Participants raised many proposals during the sessions, some of which were debated or needed more time to be discussed,' he said.
More than 280 delegates took part in the sessions last night.
The political session focused on issues related to the electoral system, distribution of constituencies and naturalisation.
Some participants suggested a quota system to guarantee women have seats in parliament and municipal councils.
Abdulrahman said some had also stressed that the elections system should achieve national unity and steer away from sectarianism.
'Participants stressed it was the best system, approving having general polling centres,' he said.
In the economic session, some participants stressed the need for a strategy to improve livelihoods, said Abdulrahman.
'They also proposed an increase of BD100 in the salary of every Bahraini as well as studying the structure of wages.'
Meanwhile, the human rights session focused on harmonising national laws with international conventions, issues related to local and international organisations and advocates, and the implementation of various principles.
Some participants called for the setting up of centres dedicated to raising awareness on human rights in Bahrain.
'They also called for the country to speed up in joining a number of international protocols related to human rights,' said Abdulrahman. – TradeArabia News Service