*** ----> NAC is Bahrain’s guiding force: HM | THE DAILY TRIBUNE | KINGDOM OF BAHRAIN

NAC is Bahrain’s guiding force: HM

Manama : His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa yesterday called on all to “adhere to the essence and principles” of the National Action Charter “to preserve what has been achieved and continue the sincere work to build on our gains and achievements.”

“On this cherished occasion, I call on everyone –each in their capacity, to adhere to the essence and principles of this document, which expresses our hopes and unifies our stances,” HM the King said marking the 17th Anniversary of the National Action Charter (NAC).

“The fundamental of the National Action Charter, with their renewed spirit and promising visions, will be our guiding principles in carrying on the nation-building and development process, based on the respect of the rule of law through constitutional institutions,” HM the King

Considered as an advance step in the Kingdom’s democratic progress, the document drafted by the people years ago paved way for the Kingdom’s political modernisation journey and women empowerment drive under the guidance of HM the King. 

The document was approved by a national referendum in 2001, with 98.4 percent of the voters voting in favour of the reforms. Voters turnout for the referendum which took place on 14 and 15 February was 90.2pc. 

Commenting on the achievements brought forth by the charter, HM the King told the gathering, “We are honoured, along with every citizen, to assume the responsibility of maintaining this experience and developing it towards the best, given its great historical value.” 

The ceremony held at Al Sakhir Palace was attended by His Royal Highness Prime Minister Prince Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa, His Royal Highness Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, the Crown Prince, Deputy Supreme Commander and First Deputy Premier, senior Royal Family members, members of the Legislative, Executive and Judicial branches, as well as members of the Supreme National Committee assigned to prepare the draft of the National Action Charter. 

“It is an experience whose foundation bases were laid down by various sectors of our civil society, including its enlightened powers, national figures, men and women,” HM the King said.

NAC, HM the King added, has deepened Bahrain’s rich civilisational heritage by being the “best guarantor of freedoms and the best supporter of human rights sponsor.” 

The charter, ratified by King Hamad on February 16, was later converted into a constitutional reality in 2002. 

HM the King indicated that the Charter has been an official reference for national action since its inception, noting that it determined the form of participation in the national decision-making process through the establishment of the bicameral National Assembly–the Shura and Representatives Councils, whose joint work has resulted in innumerable national achievements during four legislative terms.

HM the King also asserted that the National Action Charter has completed the political rights of women. 

Need for constructive Executive-Legislature cooperation was also stressed by His Majesty the King during his speech. This, HM the King said, is particularly important for “diversification of sources of income and supporting the national economy.”

In this regard, His Majesty said, “We renew our directives to restructure subsidies to ensure that they reach eligible citizens.”

The attendees extended deepest congratulations to HM the King on the NAC’s anniversary, voicing pride in milestone political, economic, cultural, social and educational achievements attained by the Kingdom under his leadership, which, they said, earned international acclaim.

HM King Hamad hosted a lunch banquet in honour of the attendees marking the 17th NAC Anniversary.

Historic moments

The idea of the Charter was conceived after the death of the Emir Shaikh Eisa Bin Salman Al Khalifa in March 1999, when his eldest son, King Hamad Bin Isa Al Khalifa succeeded him.

On November 22, 2000, King Hamad called for the formation of the Supreme National Committee to draft the National Action Charter and, the following day, he discussed with its 44 members the high significance of their historic mission.

The committee convened for the first time on December 4. For about three weeks, some of Bahrain’s brightest minds worked together to put together the document that would usher in a modern state.

The framers of the final draft of the Charter presented their work to King Hamad on December 23.

“This is an outstanding day in the history of Bahrain ... We can confidently say your completion of the draft of the National Action Charter represents an advanced step in the process of the political modernisation of the state and its institutions to meet the aspirations of the people of Bahrain ...,” King Hamad told the committee members.

The charter, ratified by King Hamad on February 16, was later converted into a constitutional reality in 2002.