Al Wefaq explains bid to quiz minister


It has been bombarded with charges that its controversial move to quiz a minister has strained its credibility.


The society has over the last three days issued several statements explaining its plan to investigate ‘shady financial deals’ by Minister of Cabinet Affairs Shaikh Ahmad Atiyatullah Al Khalifa. It has also denied any accord with other blocs to allow the interrogation to go ahead in exchange for favours.


Al Wefaq last week tabled a motion to have the parliamentary financial committee quiz the minister over alleged fiscal transactions that clashed with his status as minister.


The move was based on a pledge made by Al Wefaq during the campaign trail to quiz the minister following the publication last September of a report by a former government consultant alleging the existence of a secret network headed by Shaikh Ahmad to rig the elections and alter Bahrain’s demographic balance.


Critics stunned


However, the society’s move has been greeted with incredulity among other sitting and former deputies who claimed that it was meant "to pacify disappointed supporters rather than to delve into a controversial issue."


According to those who doubted Al Wefaq’s motives, the decision to force the minister explain his alleged violation of the constitution by engaging in other activities came too late in the parliament term and would not be successful.


"Al Wefaq knows very well that the quizzing process is too long to be completed before the end of this term, which means that the move is useless since no quiz can be taken into the next term," said Yousuf Zainal, a former deputy, in a statement.


Stressing the right of blocs to launch investigations, Abdul Nabi Salman, also a former deputy, said that the move by Al Wefaq was too late to achieve its declared objectives. "There are real concerns that the timing was purposefully chosen for reasons that we cannot fathom right now," he said.


But Al Wefaq has rejected the doubts about its move, saying that it was carefully studied and aimed to fight malpractices within the confines of the constitution.

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