Bahrain Parliament votes out maverick member
Manama, May 21, 2014
Osama Al Tamimi has become the first Bahraini MP to be sacked since parliament was formed 12 years ago.
He was voted out of his seat yesterday, just weeks before the National Assembly's four-year term is due to end, said a report in the Gulf Daily News (GDN), our sister publication.
An overwhelming majority of MPs supported the move, with 31 of the 34 present voting in favour of stripping him of his seat, while three abstained.
MPs met behind closed doors to discuss Al Tamimi's future before taking the vote in secret.
On Monday parliament's legislative and legal affairs committee recommended that Al Tamimi should be sacked for disrespecting parliament, insulting colleagues and improper conduct following an investigation.
The controversial MP failed twice to meet with the committee to discuss his actions, stating that he was unwell.
Parliament chairman Dr Khalifa Al Dhahrani was among those who voted in favour of stripping Al Tamimi of his seat, while the three who abstained were MPs Dr Somaya Al Jowder, Ahmed Qarrata and Ibtisam Hejres.
Six of parliament's 40 MPs were absent for the vote, which was taken after 25 MPs signed a petition to sack him.
After the vote Dr Al Dhahrani called in journalists and parliament staff to inform them that Al Tamimi's seat in the Central Governorate's constituency five was now vacant.
It is unlikely that he will be replaced this term, given that the current parliament's term is due to end by the end of this month or next month.
Al Tamimi was unavailable for comment yesterday.
He courted controversy after winning his seat in a 2011 by-election, which was held to replace 18 Al Wefaq MPs who resigned in the wake of that year's unrest.
Al Tamimi became the first MP to be suspended when he insulted current Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Ghanim Al Buainain, who was then an MP, and threatened to hit him with his parliamentary booklet on October 18, 2011.
He also insulted female MP Sawsan Taqawi during lunch on the same day and was initially suspended for 20 sessions, but the punishment was later reduced to five.
More recently he forced the suspension of parliamentary proceedings after an argument broke out over comments he made about the condition of Bahrain's jails.
The MP also torched the Israeli flag in parliament in November 2012, but avoided punishment after surviving a parliamentary vote. - TradeArabia News Service