Constitutional amendments in Bahrain give parliament more oversight powers

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Bahrain's Shura Council, the upper chamber of the country's National Assembly, approved Wednesday (April 25th) amendments to the kingdom's constitution, giving the Council of Representatives a host of new powers, Al-Sharq Al-Awsat reported.

The approved amendments, which were endorsed by Bahrain's lower chamber, the Council of Representatives, earlier this month, will be referred to Bahrain's King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa for final approval.

Nabil al-Ahmar, one of the king's advisors, told the newspaper the amendments will bring Bahrain to a new democratic level and to a much more advanced stage of popular participation.

Among other things, the amendments chart a new relationship between the government and the Council of Representatives and transfer the powers of the Shura Council Speaker, who is appointed by the king, to the elected Speaker of the Council of Representatives.

Another amendment includes mechanisms for dissolving the Council of Representatives.

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