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Parliament to vote on Al Wefaq MPs' resignations

PARLIAMENT will vote next week on whether to accept the resignation of all Al Wefaq's 18 MPs. Chairman Khalifa Al Dhahrani informed 22 MPs present at yesterday's weekly session that the opposition bloc had officially resigned.

A general-secretariat meeting was convened shortly after the session and a vote taken on whether to have the issue included in next week's agenda.

Independent Bloc president MP Abdulla Al Dossary said Al Wefaq's resignation was debatable considering the group submitted a single document with 18 names and parliament's by-laws only accept documentation from each MP.

"There are also problems associated with the resignation and whether it should be handed by hand from each of our 18 colleagues or the manner it was submitted in as it was sent to Mr Al Dhahrani through mail."

Parliament second vice-chairman Shaikh Adel Al Ma'awada said MPs should not waste time discussing the issue during the session and focus on issues listed on agenda.

Foreign affairs, defence and national security committee chairman Independent MP Khamis Al Rumaihi said the bloc's resignation was not official as it was not done via the rules.

Public utilities and environment affairs committee vice-chairman Independent Bloc MP Hassan Al Dossary disagreed, saying the choice was to accept it or give the bloc a chance to rethink.

Al Wefaq MPs have already missed two sessions in protest at the turmoil in Bahrain.

Meanwhile, Independent Bloc MP Isa Al Kooheji said parliament was not playing a proper role to the public with the turmoil not listed on its agenda.

"We have taken an oath to protect the country and citizens and we have a very live political, social and financial crisis and the economy is crumbling, yet the chairman is not willing to have it listed," he said.

Mr Al Dhahrani said if parliament wanted to discuss the issue it should have been included as an urgent issue in its agenda.

However, standing chairman Shaikh Al Ma'awada ended the session before MPs decided to discuss it.

All MPs present at yesterday's session voted for urgent action to be taken to stamp out potential unrest in schools as a result of Bahrain's political turmoil, which they claimed was putting pupils and teachers in danger.

Al Asala Bloc MP Abdulhaleem Murad said that the situation was dangerous and getting worse by the day.

Pressurised

"The road is being charged with hate emotions and we are being pressurised by the public to take a stand," he said.

Minister of State for Parliament and Shura Council Affairs Minister Abdulaziz Al Fadhel said MPs could question Education Minister Dr Majid Al Nuaimi at next week's session or have him summoned before the services committee.

Mr Al Dossary said there were applications by 100 pupils to have them shifted to other schools on the minister's table.

"We will take the government accountable for any harm that may happen to them as they remain in harm's way," he said.

The minister will be summoned to the committee, before showing up at next week's session.



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