Democracy a way of life in Bahrain
TDT | Manama
The Daily Tribune – www.newsofbahrain.com
Bahrain yesterday joined the international community in celebrating the International Day of Democracy. It was within the Kingdom’s commitment and adherence to the principles, values and approach of His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa who laid the foundations for the practice of open democracy and honest elections solemnly enshrined in the National Action Charter and the Constitution.
Yet, in the insightful vision and wise policy of HM the King, democracy in Bahrain goes well beyond its foundations and texts. It is a state of mind covering all aspects of life at all times and everywhere.
It is the manifestation of HM the King’s vision to invest in people first in order to realise fully and actively the potential of democracy, freedom, patriotism and a sense of responsibility.
Thanks to such a proactive vision, Bahrain has made remarkable achievements in comprehensive political development, sound democracy practices and the preservation of human dignity since the inauguration of the National Action Charter endorsed by 98.4% of the citizens in a historic referendum and the inauguration of the constitutional monarchy under a bicameral parliament.
Bahrain has also developed an independent judiciary, effective human rights and civil institutions, and a legislative system in line with the Kingdom’s ratification of more than 30 international human rights conventions, mainly the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
HM the King has often stressed the importance of continuing to strengthen democratic practices in accordance with Bahrain’s democratic values and noble goals, building on the National Action Charter as “a decisive choice to move forward in building a state of institutions and law that preserves basic rights, protects freedoms, and supports honest democratic principles.”
Numerous decrees and laws that support democratic practices and guarantee justice and political, civil, economic and social rights have been promulgated and issued.
The Supreme Judicial Council and the Constitutional Court were set up to consolidate the independence and integrity of the judiciary; human rights were reinforced by the establishment of independent human rights institutions and entities, including the National Institution for Human Rights, the Ombudsman, and the Prisoners and Detainees Rights Commission, and the Special Investigation Unit.
The establishment of the Bahrain Institute for Political Development has consolidated political empowerment and capacity building for people engaged or planning to engage, in political activities. In its commitment to realising the full potential of democracy, Bahrain, as often emphasised by HM King Hamad, has come a long way.
And it will remain fully committed to a state of mind that draws on the National Action Charter, the constitution, and the rule of law to uphold and practice moderation, tolerance and co-existence and reject extremism, radicalism and fanaticism.
As Bahrain celebrated the International Day of Democracy, Bahrain will keep moving confidently ahead to consolidate the foundations of the civil state built on justice and equality among all without excluding anyone and to bolster a state of mind where the practice of democracy is the way of life in the Kingdom.