Ex Bahraini MPs continue to take part pay from the government


The National Democratic Action Society (NDAS) said the former MPs had been receiving monthly salary from the government though not approved by parliament.
“It takes a Bahraini to complete 25 years of service to be eligible to receive 50 per cent salary as pension. In this peculiar case, MPs serving only a four-year term in the Chamber of Deputies get 50 per cent salary a month,” NDAS president Ibrahim Sharif alleged.


He said 20 ex-MPs had been receiving BD1,000 monthly amounting to BD200,000 a year from the government budget. “There is no law that stipulates pension for former deputies,” Sharif said.


The NDAS said it cost about BD736,000 annually to pay salaries to former deputies. It also claimed that those who contested the elections but did not win were also receiving the monthly aid.


Sharif said, “There were some deputies in the 2002 parliament who retired from the public sector and were elected to the House. They are receiving two pensions, one from the company and other from the government.”


The Tribune spoke with some former MPs in this regard.


One of them, Abdulnabi Salman, candidly said, “It is our political right to be covered by the retirement package. The issue is that it is not yet legalised by the government.
“The salary which former deputies receive is financial assistance and for the four years they served in the House. The need of the hour is a package to be ratified by a decree by His Majesty the King.”


Former MP Yousif Zainal concurred with Salman.


“Ministers receive 80 per cent of salary as pension and we receive only BD1,000. The issue raised by critics is not justified as this is our right. It costs the government money but democracy comes at a cost,” he said.


Political insiders told the Tribune that a decree would be issued in the second term of the Chamber of Deputies. Those who served for four years in parliament will receive 40 per cent of their basic salary. About 60 per cent will be paid to those who get re-elected and serve another four years and 80 per cent in case the candidate serves for the third time as a deputy.


MP Jalal Fairooz said His Majesty the King, Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, would issue a Royal Decree in this regard before the start of the second term of parliament.


“The retirement of former deputies needs to be legalised. It is costing the government as there is no budget approved for the purpose, but we need to look at the fact that they were once deputies. They deserve the allowance for their services they have rendered.”


Fairooz said Al Mustaqbal bloc had drafted a law on retirement package for former MPs and planned to introduce it in the second term of Parliament in October if no decree was issued.


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