New Cabinet Reshuffle: Removing Khalifa bin Salman's Wing and Reducing Al-Khawalid's Influence

2022-06-16 - 7:27 p

Bahrain Mirror (Exclusive): With a quick reading of the new cabinet reshuffle, the King of Bahrain passed a major ministerial change in favor of his son, the Prime Minister, the Crown Prince, whereby he got rid of all the faces favored by former Prime Minister Khalifa bin Salman, as well as important faces favored by the Al-Khawalid group within the ruling family. 

It is clearly a significant cabinet reshuffle in terms of numbers; it is also considered different. The number of ministers assigned from the ruling Al Khalifa family was only 4, including the Prime Minister, which according to followers is the lowest number of ministers from the Al Khalifa family within the government Cabinet since the independence.

This change has completely and decisively adjusted the balances within the Government in favor of the Crown Prince, who has almost become the one with most influence within the government. 

The decree also added new ministries: the Ministry of Sustainable Development, the Ministry of Legal Affairs, the Ministry of Tourism and the Ministry of Infrastructure. The Director of the Prime Minister's Office was also promoted to minister.

According to the decree issued by the King on Monday (June 13, 2022), 11 members of the government were dismissed and 13 others were appointed instead.

The most prominent ministers who were dismissed were 3 for the prime minister: Mohammed bin Mubarak Al Khalifa, Jawad Al-Arrayed and Ali bin Khalifa, son of the former prime minister. 

Dismissed Ministers: 

Former Prime Minister Khalifa bin Salman's Wing: 

In addition to Deputy Prime Minister Ali bin Khalifa, son of the former prime minister, the other deputy prime minister Jawad Al-Arrayed, traditionally favored by the prime minister's wing, was removed, as well as Mohammed bin Ibrahim Al-Mutawa, one of Khalifa bin Salman's most powerful men in the government, who has been a minister since decades. 

Al-Khawalid Wing:

The influence of Al-Khawalid in the government has been significantly reduced after Justice Minister Khalid bin Ali bin Abdullah Al Khalifa was removed from his post, noting that he is one of the ministers of crisis that has led the political scene against the opposition in the past 10 years, in addition to Oil Minister Mohammed bin Khalifa Al Khalifa, son of field marshal and commander-in-chief Khalifa bin Ahmed, known for his public criticism of the crown prince, especially in the events of 2011. 

Despite diminishing Al-Khawalid's influence, their wing retained a very important ministerial seat, the post of deputy prime minister, which became confined to the person of Khalid bin Abdullah Al Khalifa, to whom the Ministry of Infrastructure was added. 

Families' Ministers: 

In the last amendment, Al-Hamr family lost its ministerial seat, which it maintained at various stages, where housing minister Bassem Al-Hamer, brother of King's media adviser Nabil Al-Hamr was relieved, and none of the family members were appointed to the government. 

Al-Arrayed's family also lost its ministerial seat, which it has held for decades, after deputy prime minister Jawad Al-Arrayed, who is close to Khalifa bin Salman, was relieved. None of the family members were appointed to the new government.

Although Mohammed Al-Rumaihi was relieved of his post at the Ministry of Information Affairs, Al-Rumaihi's family did not lose its ministerial seat, as Amina Al-Rumaihi was appointed as a Housing Minister in his place.

None of Al-Saleh's family was appointed after the dismissal of Health Minister Faeqa Bint Saeed Al-Saleh.

Other Ministers:

Essam bin Abdullah Khalaf, Minister of Works, Municipality Affairs and Urban Planning, was also relieved after completing 10 full years in office. He is expected to enter the real estate and commercial sector soon. 

Kamal bin Ahmed Mohammed, Minister of Transportation and Telecommunications, who is a close to the crown prince, is expected to be reappointed to a non-ministerial post. 

As for the sectarian distribution of positions, the government included 12 Sunni ministers, 9 Shiite ministers, and 3 ministers of the Al Khalifa family, without counting the prime minister's post. 

In terms of the importance of ministries, sovereign ministries have not changed, especially the two most important sovereign ministries which are in the hands of the ruling family, the Ministry of Interior and the Ministry of Finance.

Al-Nuaimi's family secured 3 ministerial seats, Hamidan's family 2 seats and Al-Zayyani's family also retained two seats. Meanwhile, Al-Rumaihi's family retained its ministerial seat despite the change. Al-Moawada's family, who are close to the government, entered the new cabinet with one seat.

We can say that Salman bin Hamad achieved his goal in the last cabinet reshuffle; he removed the rest of Khalifa bin Salman's team, significantly reduced Al-Khawalid's influence, and brought a whole team in his favor from the Shiite and Sunni communities. Thus, the previous pretexts for the government's incompetence due to its incompatibility are no longer acceptable, and any government failure in any of the future files is the failure of the Crown Prince, his team and his entire government, which he heads and controls.

Arabic Version