Political and Security Achievements under the Reform Project of His Majesty the King 2001-2016
The Kingdom of Bahrain fulfilled a number of well documented achievements in all fields by means of the reform project that was launched by His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, since assuming his constitutional powers in 1999 to date. The Kingdom was able, during the reign of reforms of His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, to establish pioneering achievements in terms of political and security reforms that commenced with the endorsement of the National Action Charter, and followed by a number of political and security reforms that aimed to promote human rights, freedoms, maintain security and stability, and building external relations that are based on the mutual respect of States sovereignty.
- Revoking the Law of State Security Measures and the State Security Court Law in February 2001, and the unconditional amnesty against detainees of public rights, allowing all exiled Bahrainis to return home unconditionally, in addition to granting the Bahraini citizenship to all qualified person of the “Stateless” category.
- Endorsing the “National Charter” project on February 14, 2001 that received the approval of 98.4% of Bahrainis with a participation percentage of more than 90.2% of qualified voters. In implementation of the popular will, constitutional amendments were introduced, while Bahrain was declared a constitutional monarchy on 14/2/2002.
- Establishing the bicameral legislative authority (National Council): Council of Representatives consisting of 40 members who are selected by direct general elections to exercisesits legislative role, in addition to oversight of the executive authority undertakings. The Shura Council, which also consists of 40 members who are appointed by virtue of a Royal Order. Members of the Shura Council have the expertise and competence required to become members of the same. Parliamentary life returned to Bahrain in 2002, for the first time.
- Incepting the “Constitutional Court” on September 14, 2002 as one of the key reform achievements in the reign of His Majesty the King; and a pioneering step at the regional level. The Court assumes monitoring the constitutionality of laws and statutes, and hence its determination is binding to all authorities of the State.
- Establishing the “Public Prosecution Office” as an original branch of the judicial authority in line with Article (104) of the constitution
- Promoting the oversight of the executive authority, the “Administrative and Financial Audit Bureau” was established July 2002. Its mandates were developed in 2010 as a financial and administrative independent body to oversee the State funds.
- Bahrain acceded to 24 agreements and conventions pertinent to human rights, mainly: the CEDAW, International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, Agreement to Establish Arab Women Organization, in addition to other Arab and GCC agreements of relevance to protecting and promoting human rights.
- Establishing the National Institute for Human Rights, which is entrusted with developing a national plan to promote and protect human rights in the Kingdom.
- Establishing the Ombudsman and Grievances Office, which is entrusted with looking into complains made by citizens or residents; and endeavor to find the proper resolutions to the same. The Royal Charity Foundation was also established to care for widows and orphans.
- Establishing Bahrain Institute for Political Development by virtue of Decree No. (39) for 2005, who plays a significant role in raising the political and legal awareness of all segments of the Bahraini society.
- The constitutional amendments of 2012 aimed to increase parliamentary system incorporation in the ruling system; as well as re-organize the relations that govern the legislative and executive authorities, and re-structure both the Shura and Representatives Councils.
- Promote and develop Bahrain Defense Force, the national guards and public security forces, while establishing the royal guards to promote capabilities and status of the Kingdom of Bahrain in terms of security; as well as increase its readiness to counter threats;
- Enact the Gulf Joint Defense Pact by preparing members of the defense forces through participation in training drills and other tasks entrusted to them in hot spots and areas of tension;
- The Kingdom developed plans to maintain stability and security by virtue of security strategy that aims to promote comprehensive development, stimulate economic drivers and productivity through domestic and international legal and legislative undertakings.
- Selecting the Kingdom as the headquarters of the Middle East & North Africa Financial Action Task Force (MENAFATF) against money laundering and terrorism. It was found in 2004, while the agreement to inaugurate the headquarter in Bahrain was signed in 2007.
- The Kingdom is keen to promote regional cooperation agreements by signing the GCC Anti-Terrorism Accord in May 2004.