Al-Wefaq Secretary General, Sheikh Ali Salman, stated in a press conference Saturday, "There are two ways for Bahrain to exit its crisis; national negotiation leading to consensus or a national unity government"
19th Jan 2013
The press conference was held at al-Wefaq National Islamic Society in the Capital Manama came to highlight main issues as the second anniversary of the start of the peaceful revolution in Bahrain approaches.
Salman affirmed that the revolution will continue until demands of democratic transition are achieved.
“The motive of the people of Bahrain who are demanding democracy is their aspiration to achieve positive and realistic change in all aspects of life; political, economic, social, service and law”
“We must take our country from a state that has long been amongst an Arab world that is known for all political and wealth issues to be controlled by one dynasty or party, to a democratic system that respects citizenship and ethnicities and is based on the people’s will”
“The revolution carried legitimate humanitarian demands that civilized nations have achieved more than two and a half centuries ago, sadly, our Arab world “
“No one argued the eligibility of the demands, even the highest authority in the country addressed them as legitimate demands and the wrong decision is not respond to these demands “, he said.
The authoritarian decision boosted the revolution
Salman blamed the authority for the crisis Bahrain has been going through for nearly two years now.
“If the right decision to respond to these demands had been taken before the revolution started on 14 February 2011, we wouldn’t have entered this crisis”, he said.
He added that taking the wrong decision meant the revolution must continue, and that the country paid the price through its major resource which is the human via dismissals, torture, killings, exiling and many other violations which were documented by Mr. Bassiouni and Human rights NGOs.
“This wrong decision was made contrary to the first article of the constitution that states that the people are the source of all powers to enable the people of decision-making”.
He said one wrong decision to refuse to respond to any of the demands led to other wrong decisions such as using excessive force and repression in the face of any anti-government act. The clampdown was not able to hold back the people from demanding democracy and freedom, he added.
Salman highlighted the demands of the opposition as mentioned in the Manama document that detailed the political rights including an elected government, impartial judiciary, fair constituencies, integration of all society fragments in the security services. He mentioned that other vital issues include discrimination in education, jobs, business, investments and services. In addition to naturalization of foreigners who are used by the regime against the people of Bahrain demanding freedom.
The suppressive policy does not suit dialogue
Salman said that “political ideas are used to cover up the suppressive clampdown, such as the so-called National Consensus Dialogue which was nothing but a PR party that is a part of a bigger game”
“After two years, it’s very clear that the repression tailed with the political maneuver has failed to silence the popular movement”.
“Some are trying to convince themselves that killing people, repressing rights, discrimination and naturalization are victory, this is illusion. There is no victory in imprisoning 1600 citizens. Thousands are ready to sacrifice for this cause”, he said.
Salman also honored in a stand of gratitude all the martyrs and their families, the wounded and those under pursuit or behind bars.
He expressed thanks and respect to all those in street protests and political activities serving this revolution.
He said, “There is a notion of relying on regional developments to keep the corrupt situation in Bahrain, but we rely on God first and last, and we believe that the regional developments are heading for change. We are not worried from any regional or global changes.”
“The people have managed to convince the world of the justice of this cause and that our demands benefit all parties in the region and the world”
Overpassing agreements is rejected
“What we really need in Bahrain is negotiation on issues of disagreement to reach a national consensus. Being it dialogue or negotiation, before and after the revolution we have expressed our stance; we are with whatever can end the sufferings and benefits all. And I hope benefits of all don’t include the prime minister’s stay in office, nor the continuation of discrimination and land lootings. We are here for the interest and benefit of all Bahrainis and we believe that there must be a just and modern political system”.
He stressed that a serious and genuine dialogue is required, and not one that wastes time. Fragile consensuses are very soon put aside and overpassed, like what happened to the constitution in the 70s and the National Charter, he added, linking such causes to uprisings that have erupted every ten years since.
“An inclusive dialogue is needed to reach what can be agreed on to reach a clear political agreement, not like what happened in the National Charter trick. Any genuine negotiation or consensus requires a well-defined timeline to be implemented”.
Agreement mechanisms.. The final word is for the people
“Unlike the so-called National Consensus Dialogue, we need a clear mechanism to reach agreement and put it into action and the approval of the majority of the people is essential to exit the political crisis, either through a constitutive council or a referendum”
Salman mentioned that the opposition is working seriously to find a real breakthrough and to end the terror and fear which have been spread amongst the people.
“We are always ready to actively participate in a real democratic transition that can achieve the aspirations of the people of Bahrain”, he said.
“There is another way to resolve the crisis. That is, to agree on forming a national unity government, which the opposition makes half of, the main role of this government is to hold a national dialogue and elections in order to move to a political procedure that manages the state”
In response to a question at the conference al-Wefaq SG said there is no formal communication between the authority and the opposition.