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Parliamentary System in Bahrain

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In the Kingdom of Bahrain, the legislative authority, in accordance with provisions of the Constitution, is vested in the King and the National Assembly (the Shura Council and the Council of Representatives).

 

The Relationship between both Chambers of the National Assembly

Formation of the National Assembly

  • The Shura Council and the Council of Representatives together form the National Assembly that debates topics of mutual interest, or disputed issues.
  • Speaker of the Council of Representatives chairs the meeting of the National Assembly. In his absence, the Chairman of the Shura Council chairs the meeting, followed by the First Deputy Speaker of the Council of Representatives, and the First Deputy Chairman of the Shura Council.
  • Members of the Council of Representatives and Shura Council complete the quorum for the validity of the meeting of the National Assembly and its decisions.

The legislative process

  • A law is not passed unless it is approved by both the Shura Council and the Council of Representatives, or the National Assembly if applicable, and is thereto endorsed by the King.
  • Speaker of the Council of Representatives refers the bills approved by the Council to the Shura Council for review and approval.
  • If both councils disagreed over any bill twice, the National Assembly convenes, chaired by the Speaker of the Council of Representatives to discuss the disputed items only. The bill is passed only by the majority of votes of attendees. In case of rejection, the bill shall not be submitted again to the National Assembly in the same legislative session.
  • In all cases, the speaker of the Council of Representatives shall refer all bills passed by both chambers to the Prime Minister who submits them to the King.
  • The Closing Account is approved by both chambers, with their comments attached.

Joint Activities of both Chambers

  • Inter-Parliamentary Group: consists of all members of both the Shura Council and the Council of Representatives. It has an Executive Committee comprising of 8 members (4 members of each chamber). The chairman of the inter-parliamentary group is the Speaker of the Council of Representatives, and its secretary is the Secretary General of the Council of Representatives.
  • Meeting of the Financial and Economic Affairs Committees of both chambers: both committees hold a joint meeting to discuss the budget draft law.
  • Supervising the Functions of the Secretariat General of the Council of Representatives
  • In the period when the Council of Representatives is dissolved, the Chairman of the Shura Council assumes all administrative and financial undertakings of the council bureau and its speaker.
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