Constitutional legitimacy of the king under the microscope of February 14th movement …..Part 1 of 4

29/07/2012م - 6:37 ص - 3052 قراءة

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Bahrain Mirror (Exclusive): The obvious result which was shown by the activity of the February 14th, is that there is a king named Hamad bin Isa neglected a text of the constitutional oath "I swear by Allah the Almighty to respect the Constitution and the laws of the State, and defend the liberties of the people, interests and properties, and to safeguard the independence and territorial integrity". The microscope of the February 14th uprising has shown the King's negligence of the oath, as well as the date of February 14th  2002 showed the abolition of the 'Contractual' Constitution by the king, and Bassiouni's report came as an attempt to heal the legitimacy that the King had damaged by such negligence.

The opposition had given the King an opportunity to heal his legitimacy, but he did not do that during the last eight months that followed the release of Bassiouni's report, what are the options before him now? This is what we are trying to answer by investigating the performance of the King biography that contradicts the constitutional oath.


According to the Constitution of the Kingdom of Bahrain, in the clause(s) addressing the King:
King is the head of the state, and its nominal representative, who shall not be touched, the faithful protector of religion and homeland, and the symbol of national unity.

Questions for the King

•    Is the King above the constitutional oath? Are there differences between the responsibilities of the King in the Constitution of 1973 and his responsibilities in the Constitution of 2002?
•    Did the King breach constitutional obligations section?
•    Did the King relieve himself of the Constitutional oath when he took over in 1998, by not forming a council of parliament to deliver that oath before?
•    What remains of protected constitutional rights for the King when he reneged of his obligations towards legitimacy, homeland and national unity?
•    Does the king lose his legitimacy, when he neglects his duties towards the legitimacy of governance and the rule of the Constitution and the law?
•    Is there a need to propose a political and constitutional way as an alternative way similar to a previous procedure taken long time when Isa bin Ali, the great grandfather of the King, was isolated and stepped down?
•    Is it the time to find an alternative King on the basis of the idea of separation between "toppling the regime" and "toppling the King"?

These questions are raised on an urgent basis as a result of the performance of the King of Bahrain during the last two and half years, i.e. ever since the outbreak of protests on February 14th 2011, not because his performance was different before, nevertheless everything he did had been clearly exposed. It is the so-called lie the "Reformist Project", whereby the King hid his ugly side underneath it. Those stayed half-hidden over the past 12 years, after the transformation of the project, which was supposed to have its transmission in the relationship between the government and the people, into a "veil" that increasingly separated them, and had become a pretext that the regime used to hide all its violations under, but no later than February 14, 2011, that pretext was smashed completely.

King's Oath

The 2002 Constitution is no difference than the Constitution of 73 with respect to the constitutional responsibilities of the King towards the nation and the people. The King apparently did not say the constitutional oath, which stipulated defending the liberties of the people: "I swear by Allah the Almighty to respect the Constitution and the laws of the State, and defend the liberties of the people, interests and properties, and to safeguard the independence and territorial integrity", in the absence of a national council in session, i.e. when he took over succeeding his father.
   
However, not performing the Constitutional Oath by the King does not relieve him from the responsibility in protecting the liberties of the people and their interests, and properties, and maintaining state's independence and territorial integrity, otherwise the performance of the authority considered void. What concerns us here is what responsibilities are held by the King after he assumed power.


The influence of the King

In the 2002 Constitution, the King was mainly interested in the addition of constitutional provisions that increased his powers: "He is the faithful protector of the of religion and homeland, and the symbol of national unity", or those provisions which are already contained in the contractual Constitution "the King protects the legitimacy of governance and the rule of the Constitution and the law, and respects the rights of individuals and bodies and their freedoms."

Perhaps the King only considered the constitutional provisions that gave him powers, such as: "the king the head of state, and its nominal representative, the same shall not be touched", or those that give more dominance over the legislative, executive, judicial and security. But in fact, those texts that work to strengthen the influence of the king and his dominance, is on the other hand, put him in front of the responsibilities, not only the absolute powers.

King's dream

In 2005, the King wrote a long article under the title "I dreamed of a homeland embracing all its children", saying: Thus, since early on, I was on an appointment with the aspirations of the national consciousness to complete the independence, and to embark on participation and consultation concept, and I was able to feel a lot from the lessons of our political experiences the near and far. It should be noted here that I was prepared to emphasize repeatedly in conversations directed to the citizens, and in more than one occasion, that «there is no return to the past» and «we will no longer turn back the clock». I meant that it is not necessary to put safeguards and take the necessary reserves, not to return back to those bad experiences and dead ends that have impeded the march, and kept Bahrain far from its leadership and evolutionary and progressive pathway that has always characterized Bahrain among the countries in the region since the beginning of the Renaissance." End quote

In times of tranquility, the speech seems easy and perfect. What is important is the performance at the real political experience time, a time of crisis in particular. February 14th, 2011 event was a real test of the dream of the King who preached his people on one hand, and on the other hand had revealed his real national consciousness, and thus his ability to manage real political crises that postpone national development, and bear historic responsibility in dealing with them, and to prevent turning the clock back in any form, only the crisis will reveal that.
How did King Hamad perform with the most severe and 'bitter' experiences, and whether the King has opened blocked roads that impeded the march? How was his performance during the crisis? These question we would like to pose the King here.
To be continued...






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