War Breaks out Again between Royal Court and PM’s Court
2019-05-17 - 3:28 am
Bahrain Mirror (Exclusive): The unannounced truce between the Royal Court and the Prime Minister's Court didn't last long. The dispute that was publicly managed on social media outlets and that lasted for 3 months (from February until April 2018), and ended with the arrest of Mohammad Al-Shorouqi as well as others over charges of managing the "Na'eb Ta'eb" Twitter account, seems to emerge again but in another fashion.
No one knows the reasons behind the Prime Minister Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa's visit to the house of Sayed Abdullah Al-Ghuraifi and no one knows the real reasons behind him calling the Emir of Qatar to congratulate him on the holy month of Ramadan amid the Gulf boycott imposed on Doha. However, it is certain that these acts irritated the Royal Court that started a wide campaign with Sayed Abdullah Al-Ghuraifi as a headline, but in fact it targets the PM.
Since the PM's court is not a charity association, it rushed to mobilize its followers and supporters on social media. The "Na'eb Ta'eb" account which the PM's royal court controlled after Al-Shorouqi's arrest and which turned into another platform supportive of Khalifa bin Salman resumed action quickly. It explicitly accused Royal Court Minister Khalid bin Ahmed of attempting to overthrow Khalifa bin Salman and replace him with the king's pampered son (Nasser bin Hamad). Meanwhile, others like lawyer Abdullah Al-Hachem and Abir Al-Jalal denounced this media campaign that doesn't seem to be ending soon.
We can see that last year it all started with the creation of the "Na'eb Ta'eb" account that published secret conversations of Council of Ministers Court Undersecretary Ibrahim Al-Dosari and figures such as then MP Anas Bu Hendi as well as director of media affairs in the PM's court Mohammad Al-Mahmeed, in which they talked about scandals related to MPs, including the then Speaker of Parliament Ahmed Al-Mulla and other conversations about Ahmed Atiyatallah and the Royal Court.
Although Al-Dosari deleted his account on social media, the publishing of these conversations was followed by a lawsuit raised by MP Khalid Al-Shaer and Jamal Bu Hassan against Anas Bu Hendi and Ibrahim Al-Dosari, with the establishment of a parliamentary committee assigned to investigate Al-Dosari's ownership of Al-Reem center.
Matters didn't stop here. They extended to the dismissal of Bu Hendi from preaching in Al-Ghatam Mosque in Riffa. All of this happened while the "Na'eb Ta'eb" continued to post dozens of tweets pointing accusations at Khalifa bin Salman and attacking the team working with him, from the most senior officials in the court to less influential figures like tweeter like Abir Al-Jalal.
The PM broke his silence and publicly attacked the anti-cybercrimes directorate, accused it of spreading sedition and defended Ibrahim Al-Dosari, whom he granted the Al-Reem center land plot and said that the parliamentary investigation committee was illegally established.
Disputes became worse between the two courts. The PM refused to receive Speaker of Parliament Ahmed Al-Mulla, while Mohammad Khalid who is deemed linked to the PM accused his sons of managing the Na'eb Ta'eb account.
The disputes ended with the PM's victory. The Minister of Interior interfered to stop the dispute on social media. The Ministry of Interior's statement was followed with a statement announcing the arrest of a group accused of managing the "Na'eb Ta'eb" account (one of them is an employee in the cybercrime directorate). The names and photos of the arrested were published on the Interior Ministry website. The Ministry then arrested Mohammed Khalid's son as he attempted to leave the country and accused him later of misuse of social media outlets.
Khalifa bin Salman continued reaping his gains. Editor-in-chief of Al-Watan newspaper Yousif Al-Binkhalil was convicted of slandering Anas Bu Hendi, while the political isolation reached Khalid Al-Shaer who was prevented from running in the 2018 Parliamentary elections after heading a campaign against PM's wing in 2014's Parliament.
However, arguments between the two courts continued indirectly. The issue of the ownership of the Arad land plot by the son of royal court minister sparked public outrage. The campaign against the construction of a mall was led by tweeters supportive of the PM's court who were later summoned and threatened.
This time things seem to be different. The "Na'eb Ta'eb" account, which is now controlled by the PM's court, after those accused of managing it were arrested, says that the royal court will appoint a press editor in the four local newspapers (Al-Ayam, Al-Bilad, Akhbar Al-Khaleej and Al-Watan) to monitor news published about the PM. Meanwhile, work was being done in the next stage to marginalize Khalifa bin Salman.
The account claimed that Khalid bin Ahmed and his brother Marshal Khalifa bin Ahmed are working with their team to showcase Nasser bin Hamad (king's son) so that he would later become an alternative to Khalifa bin Salman as Premier.
No one can confirm the accuracy of this information. They may be exaggerations in an attempt to force Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz to interfere and put an end to these disputes. Besides, this may be true especially with how close Nasser bin Hamad is to Royal Court Minister Khalid bin Ahmed and his brother Marshal Khalifa bin Ahmed. Like the saying goes, there's no smoke without fire.
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