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Bahrain Shura Council locks horns with Bahrain Parliament over ‘moonlighting bill’

TDT | Manama                                                       

The Daily Tribune – www.newsofbahrain.com

A heated debate is brewing in Bahrain’s legislative chambers as the Shura Council’s Legislative and Legal Affairs Committee has firmly rejected a draft law aiming to blur the lines between public and private sector employment.

The proposed addition to the Civil Service Law, championed by the Council of Representatives (CoR), has hit a brick wall with the Shura Council, raising concerns about the potential erosion of public service integrity.

The Shura Council’s Legislative and Legal Affairs Committee, led by Dalal Jassim Al Zayed, stands resolute in its opposition, citing the fundamental principle of public employment as a national service dedicated to the public good.

Equating public and private sector roles, they argue, undermines this core value and risks compromising the crucial role public servants play in implementing policies, managing public funds, and delivering essential services.

“The Constitution is clear,” the committee emphasizes, “public service is a national duty, not a springboard for private pursuits.” They highlight the existing legal framework that safeguards this distinction, ensuring public employees remain free from any suspicion of divided loyalties.

Public service

This firm stance comes after the Council of Representatives, frustrated by the initial rejection, sent the bill back for reconsideration. However, the Shura Council appears unwavering, determined to uphold the sanctity of public service.

The debate hinges on a fundamental question: can public servants dabble in private ventures without jeopardising their core responsibilities? The Shura Council believes the answer is a resounding no, emphasizing the need for clear boundaries to maintain public trust and ensure the smooth functioning of government services.

With both sides digging in their heels, the fate of the draft law hangs in the balance. Will the Shura Council prevail, or will the Council of Representatives manage to bridge the divide? Only time will tell how this tug-of-war between public service principles and private enterprise aspirations unfolds.


Dalal Jassim Al Zayed


Shura Council Chairman H.E. Ali Bin Saleh Al Saleh