MILAD.jpg

Milad: “The Government wanted to be the party making the decisions, while making MPs the front for these decisions before the public”

Member of the Permanent Committee for Shari’ah and Legal Affairs

Member of the Rotten Meat Investigation Committee (established Feb 2015)

Al-Milad won his seat in southern Sitra in the 2014 elections, despite not establishing a media profile for himself at a national level. He continues to be a low key MP, not given to speaking out to the media.

As a lawyer, most of Milad’s contributions during parliamentary sessions concern procedural issues and legal points. During early 2015, he was outspoken against the Government’s usage of “urgent” for bills in cases which Milad has said is unjustified. He often refers back to constitutional protocols and the Parliamentary Code to justify his arguments. The reason Milad gave for rejecting the Budget during the 2 July 2015 vote was the protracted delay in submitting the Budget to Parliament by the Government.

In November 2015 MPs rejected his bid to leave the Meat Standards Committee because they judged his legal experience to be too valuable. So while Milad not be a particularly visible MP to the public, his committee roles and overall contribution are clearly valued.

Milad comes across in Parliament as a figure with an individual perspective who is willing to take a position contrary to that of other MPs. Milad was the only deputy to abstain and not vote in favour during the 24 February parliamentary vote on regulations governing retired military personnel.

Reportedly, Milad is affiliated with the Al-Rabitah Political Society, a moderate Shia society which Ali al-Atish is the only other formal member of in Parliament.

 

ACTIVITY DURING 2015-2016 PARLIAMENT SEASON

Good governance & public finance

Subsidies: During the 27 Oct open parliamentary debate on subsidy reform, Milad called for interrogation of the Commerce and Finance Ministers over subsidy reform. He argued that the Budget offered no legal framework for the reforms and said that the Commerce Minister had failed to open up the meat import market to competition; while the Finance Minister was discriminating between citizens over compensation payments.

Policing & regional security

Terrorism: Al-Milad on 29 July condemned the killing of two policemen in Sitra, saying that “terrorism sought to undermine the state and attack national unity”.

Parliament role & constituent engagement

Parliament Dec 2014-July 2015: Milad during a round-table Al-Wasat interview on 11 July alongside other MPs complained of the delay in submitting the Budget to Parliament, which wasn’t received until mid-May 2015. Milad added: Following approval of the Government Action Plan and prior to the arrival of the Budget many MPs assumed that the Action Plan was fixed. However, the Plan was the shadow of the Budget. It should have been defined that [the Action Plan] was an overview, not designed to be subjected to detailed interpretations – as the binding contract was the Budget. Therefore the Budget should have been sent first so that the Action Plan could have been aligned with it.

“Regarding the Government’s dealing with the Council of Representatives; the Government wanted to be the party making the decisions, while making MPs the front for these decisions before the public. This is what we saw in the case of the four draft bills which were sent to MPs with the urgent marking in order to be approved. Thus is would seem to the public that it was we who issued them, despite the fact that we weren’t given the time to study them. In legislative terms, I believe that the Public Health law and vaccination law were the most significant legislative achievements during this term.”

The Parliament is not led by the Government and no pressure was exerted on us. However, it should be acknowledged that MPs have their convictions on all issues and these convictions can change through engagement and persuasion. This is what occurred during our discussions on the Public Debt Bill and the Lualua Highway, in which the convictions of MPs changed during the course of the State Budget discussions.

Private bills: During the 3 Nov parliamentary session, MPs reacted angrily to the Govt’s rejection of a number of private bills put forward by MPs. Milad called for revisions to the manner that disability insurance was imposed and asked why foreign workers should have health fees imposed on them, even if they did not seek treatment.

During the 17 Nov MPs once again responded angrily to a new set of responses from the Government rejecting almost all of their proposals which had been submitted as private bills. Mohammed Milad complained that the Government’s responses were always too vague and responses from various ministries often contradicted each other. He added: “There is no shame in refusing a proposal outright, but they don’t seem to know what they want. They want to say that there are insufficient funds, but don’t want to admit this directly”.

Committees: During the 10 Nov parliamentary session, Milad’s application to withdraw from the Rotten Meat Committee was rejected by other MPs who claimed that his legal experience was too valuable.

 

ACTIVITY DURING 2014-2015 PARLIAMENT SEASON

 

Housing, services & infrastructure

 

Housing: Milad (along with Majid al-Majid and Abbas al-Madhi) on 19 April proposed changing the housing law to require a 10 year period before newly naturalized Bahrainis can obtain housing support. They suggested that this could help ease the pressure on the Housing Ministry for requests for support.

 

Roads: On 22 February, Milad was among five MPs (Ali al-Atish, Fatima al-Asfour, Abbas al-Madhi, Ghazi Al Rahmah) requesting that the Sehla road be linked directly to the main highway.

 

Standards of living, health & education

 

Meat subsidies: During the 26 May parliamentary discussion, a majority of MPs spoke out against the Govt’s plan for halting meat subsidies. Milad criticized the Government’s failure to discuss the proposal with Parliament in advance.

 

Economy & employment

 

Bahrainization: Milad has sponsored a proposed measure banning non-Bahrainis from taking public sector roles, except in exceptional circumstances. (31 January)

 

During the 24 February parliamentary debate concerning the Shura Council’s rejection of proposals to prefer Bahraini workers for jobs, Milad noted the confusion arising as a result of naturalized Bahrainis.

 

Good governance & public finance

 

Corruption: During the 17 February parliamentary debate concerning measures against officials being investigated on criminal charges. Al-Milad criticized the way that the issue was being addressed and said that suspension of officials without pay, prior to a ruling on their guilt violated their rights. Al-Milad was one of a small minority of MPs (including Mohammed al-Ahmed, Ali al-Atish and Majid al-Asfour) who voted against.

 

Public debt: During the 24 March parliamentary session to discuss a possible rise in the debt ceiling, Milad rejected sending the proposal back to the Financial Committee for further discussion and voted with the majority of MPs to reject an increase in the debt ceiling. Milad warned that Bahrain had to break the habit of routinely increasing the debt each year.

 

Audit report: During the 14 April parliamentary debate concerning the annual Financial Audit Bureau report, Milad called for the names of individual violators to be cited in the report.

 

Minister interrogation: Milad on 28 April speculated to the media that the Government would use its influence to dissuade MPs from supporting the interrogation of the Health Minister. He had been one of around 30 signatories of the proposal for the interrogation.

 

Milad failed to attend the parliamentary session for the Health Minister’s interrogation over issues related to the Financial Audit Bureau Report. During the 5 May parliamentary session an insufficient number of MPs voted in support of interrogating the Health Minister (23 supported, below the 2/3 quota of 27 MPs).

 

Interrogation provisions: Ali al-Atish, Ali al-Aradi, Mohammed al-Ammadi, Ahmed Qaratah and Mohammed Milad on 8 May submitted a bill for simplifying the provisions for interrogating a minister, including removing two stages of the approval process and cancelling the need for a two-thirds majority.

 

Mumtalakat: During the 5 May parliamentary session, MPs approved Milad’s request to withdraw from the Mumtalakat probe committee, shortly after being approved as a member.

 

MPs’ benefits: On 12 May, Parliament voted to delay two weeks the vote on modifying retirement payments for MPs. Milad said that the proposals were fair, in comparison with “judges and ministers who receive huge bonuses”. Milad blamed political societies for raising the issue of increased bonuses.

 

Policing & regional security

 

Ex-Military restrictions: In the 24 February parliamentary vote preventing former army personnel from taking military jobs overseas, Milad questioned why this measure had been rushed into Parliament and expressed reservations about the lack of recourse to appeal for those who were refused permission to work for foreign contractors. Milad was the only MP not to vote in favour.

 

Rights, freedoms & religion

 

Quran: During the 17 March parliamentary debate about the proposal for setting up an inquiry committee over the reading of Quranic verses during a talent contest, Milad said that the legal implications were already being dealt with, but the committee should concern itself with the educational ramifications.

 

Parliament role & constituent engagement

 

Urgent bills: During the 28 April parliamentary debate on the Finance Committee’s recommendation to reject 4 government bills marked urgent, Milad told the press at the end of the session: “There was agreement that we would reject all the four bills marked as ’urgent’. However, we arrived at the sitting and were astonished to find that deputies had approved two of these bills”.

 

Procedure: During the 28 April parliamentary session MP Ali al-Asoumi questioned Al-Aradi’s right, as the interim Chairman of the session, to return to the Chairman’s seat after having left it to make his point during the debate. Al-Asoumi said that Al-Aradi should wait until the end of the debate before returning to the Chairman’s position, after having taken a partisan position during the debate. The legal expert present in the debate supported Al-Aradi’s right to return to the chair, but Mohammed Milad supported Al-Asoumi’s point. In response, Al-Aradi offered the Chairman’s seat to Second-Deputy Murad, to avoid wasting more parliamentary time.

 

 

Effectiveness rating

  1. Standards of living, health & education – 3
  2. Housing & services 4
  3. Policing & regional security – 4
  4. Good governance & public finance – 6
  5. Economy & employment – 6
  6. Supporting constituents & youth – 4
  7. Rights & freedoms – 5
  8. Constructive Parliament role – 2
  9. Public visibility – 2
  10.  Progressive/reformist credentials – 5

 

 

Results of 2014 elections – 9th Capital

Areas covered: Southern Sitra, East Eker

Housing blocks: 607, 608, 609, 611, 623, 624, 633, 634

Registered voters: 9,591;    Percentage 1st round voter turnout: 9.6%

First round vote: 

Ibrahim al-Asfour – 302 (39.1%); Mohammed Jaffar – 266 (34.5%); Mohammed Al Shaikh – 204 (26.4%)

Second round vote:

Mohammed Jaffar – 500 (62.3%)

Ibrahim al-Asfour – 303 (37.7%)

Profile of election campaign: Mohammed Jaffar Milad Abbas

Mohammed Jaffar has made it through to the second round with few visible signs of a candidacy campaign, no coverage in the media and little evidence of attempts to reach out to the wider public and explain his campaign priorities.

As a result, Mohammed Jaffar is one of the new MPs who least is known about by the wider Bahraini public. Former MPs representing this area like Osama al-Tamimi have tended to take a more confrontational approach within the Parliament in order to better establish their local legitimacy.

It remains to be seen whether Jaffar will follow in this path; or if he’ll seek a more conciliatory approach as candidates like Adel Hamid (3rd Capital) have promised, in order to try and secure greater Government support for the district.

Constituency demographic

This constituency is another entirely new area, made up of several former districts. Being centred around Sitra and Al-Eker, it was inevitable that the boycott would be strong here.

With a first round turnout of just 9.6%, the opposition will see this as a success. However, this is after a campaign of intimidation against local candidates, with several figures having had their homes, businesses and cars attacked, promotional material for the elections has been vandalized and destroyed, and those participating in the elections have been threatened through the social media and called “traitors”.

In Sitra itself, there has been no elections posters or promotional material and little evidence of campaigning activity. There were six candidates in this constituency. Three withdrew. One of these – former MP Osamah Muhanna al-Tamimi – was forced to withdraw by a court order following a petition that his address was not legally within the constituency. Earlier in 2014 Al-Tamimi was thrown out of Parliament for behaviour unbecoming of an MP. 

 

 

 

Know your deputy: MPs profiles

Adel al-Asoumi – 1st Capital

Chairman of Permanent Committee for Public Utilities and Environment 

http://www.citizensforbahrain.com/index.php/featured-articles/entry/know-your-deputy-adel-al-asoumi-1st-capital

Ahmed Qaratah – 2nd Capital

http://www.citizensforbahrain.com/index.php/featured-articles/entry/know-your-deputy-ahmed-qaratah-2nd-capital

Adel Bin-Hamid Abdulhussain – 3rd Capital

http://www.citizensforbahrain.com/index.php/featured-articles/entry/know-your-deputy-adel-bin-hamid-abdulhussain-3rd-capital

Abdulrahman Bumjaid – 4th Capital

http://www.citizensforbahrain.com/index.php/featured-articles/entry/know-your-deputy-abdulrahman-bumjaid-4th-capital

Nasser al-Qaseer – 5th Capital 

Chairman of Parliamentary Human Rights Committee

http://www.citizensforbahrain.com/index.php/featured-articles/entry/know-your-deputy-nasser-al-qaseer-5th-capital

Ali al-Atish – 6th Capital

Chairman of the Permanent Committee for Shari’ah and Legal Matters

http://www.citizensforbahrain.com/index.php/featured-articles/entry/know-your-deputy-ali-al-atish-6th-capital

Osamah al-Khajah – 7th Capital

http://www.citizensforbahrain.com/index.php/featured-articles/entry/know-your-deputy-osamah-al-khajah-7th-capital

Shaikh Majid al-Asfour – 8th Capital 

http://www.citizensforbahrain.com/index.php/featured-articles/entry/know-your-deputy-shaikh-majid-al-asfour-8th-capital

Mohammed Jaffar Milad – 9th Capital

http://www.citizensforbahrain.com/index.php/featured-articles/entry/know-your-deputy-mohammed-jaffar-milad-9th-capital

Nabil al-Balooshi – 10th Capital

http://www.citizensforbahrain.com/index.php/featured-articles/entry/know-your-deputy-nabil-al-balooshi-10th-capital

Ali Bufarsan – 1st Muharraq 

http://www.citizensforbahrain.com/index.php/featured-articles/entry/know-your-deputy-ali-bufarsan-1st-muharraq

Ibrahim al-Hammadi – 2nd Muharraq

http://www.citizensforbahrain.com/index.php/featured-articles/entry/know-your-deputy-ibrahim-al-hammadi-2nd-muharraq

Jamal Buhassan – 3rd Muharraq

http://www.citizensforbahrain.com/index.php/featured-articles/entry/know-your-deputy-jamal-buhassan-3rd-muharraq

Isa al-Kooheji – 4th Muharraq

http://www.citizensforbahrain.com/index.php/featured-articles/entry/know-your-deputy-isa-al-kooheji-4th-muharraq

Mohammed al-Jowder – 5th Muharraq

Chairman of the Permanent Committee for Foreign, Defence and National Security Affairs

Deputy-Chairman of Parliamentary Human Rights Committee

http://www.citizensforbahrain.com/index.php/featured-articles/entry/know-your-deputy-mohammed-al-jowder-5th-muharraq

Abbas al-Madhi – 6th Muharraq

http://www.citizensforbahrain.com/index.php/featured-articles/entry/know-your-deputy-abbas-al-madhi-6th-muharraq

Ali al-Muqla – 7th Muharraq

http://www.citizensforbahrain.com/index.php/featured-articles/entry/know-your-deputy-ali-al-muqla-asalah-7th-muharraq

  

Abdulrahman Bu-Ali – 8th Muharraq

Chairman of the Permanent Committee for Financial and Economic Matters

http://www.citizensforbahrain.com/index.php/featured-articles/entry/know-your-deputy-abdulrahman-bu-ali-8th-muharraq

Fatimah al-Asfour – 1st Northern

Deputy Chairwoman of the Committee for Women and Children

http://www.citizensforbahrain.com/index.php/featured-articles/entry/know-your-deputy-fatimah-al-asfour-1st-northern-1

Jalal Kadhim al-Mahfoudh – 2nd Northern

Deputy Chairman of the Permanent Committee for Financial and Economic Matters

http://www.citizensforbahrain.com/index.php/featured-articles/entry/know-your-deputy-jalal-kadhim-al-mahfoudh-2nd-northern-1

Hamad al-Dossary – 3rd Northern 

Deputy Chairman of Committee for Youth and Sports

http://www.citizensforbahrain.com/index.php/featured-articles/entry/know-your-deputy-hamad-al-dossary-3rd-northern

Ghazi Al Rahmah – 4th Northern 

Chairman of Committee for Youth and Sports

http://www.citizensforbahrain.com/index.php/featured-articles/entry/know-your-deputy-ghazi-al-rahmah-4th-northern

Ali al-Aradi – 5th Northern

Deputy Chairman of Parliament

http://www.citizensforbahrain.com/index.php/featured-articles/entry/know-your-deputy-ali-al-aradi-5th-northern

Rua al-Haiki – 6th Northern

Chairwoman of the Committee for Women and Children

http://www.citizensforbahrain.com/index.php/featured-articles/entry/know-your-deputy-rua-al-haiki-6th-northern

Shaikh Majid al-Majid – 7th Northern

http://www.citizensforbahrain.com/index.php/featured-articles/entry/know-your-deputy-shaikh-majid-al-majid-7th-northern

Dr. Isa Turki – 8th Northern 

http://www.citizensforbahrain.com/index.php/featured-articles/entry/know-your-deputy-dr-isa-turki-8th-northern

Abdulhamid Abdulhussain al-Najjar – 9th Northern

http://www.citizensforbahrain.com/index.php/featured-articles/entry/know-your-deputy-abdulhamid-abdulhussain-al-najjar-9th-northern

Mohammed al-Ammadi – 10th Northern

Chairman of Committee for Supporting the Palestinian People

http://www.citizensforbahrain.com/index.php/featured-articles/entry/know-your-deputy-mohammed-al-ammadi-minbar-10th-northern

Jamal Dawoud – 11th Northern

http://www.citizensforbahrain.com/index.php/featured-articles/entry/know-your-deputy-jamal-dawoud-11th-northern

Jamila al-Sammak – 12th Northern

http://www.citizensforbahrain.com/index.php/featured-articles/entry/know-your-deputy-jamila-al-sammak-12th-northern

Khalid al-Shaer – 1st Southern

http://www.citizensforbahrain.com/index.php/featured-articles/entry/know-your-deputy-khalid-al-shaer-1st-southern

Mohammed al-Ahmed – 2nd Southern

http://www.citizensforbahrain.com/index.php/featured-articles/entry/know-your-deputy-mohammed-al-ahmed-2nd-southern

Abdulhalim Murad – 3rd Southern

Second Deputy Chairman of Parliament

http://www.citizensforbahrain.com/index.php/featured-articles/entry/know-your-deputy-abdulhalim-murad-asalah-3rd-southern

Mohammed al-Maarifi – 4th Southern

Deputy Chairman of the Permanent Committee for Services

http://www.citizensforbahrain.com/index.php/featured-articles/entry/know-your-deputy-mohammed-al-maarifi-4th-southern

Khalifa al-Ghanim – 5th Southern

http://www.citizensforbahrain.com/index.php/featured-articles/entry/know-your-deputy-khalifa-al-ghanim-5th-southern

Anas Buhindi – 6th Southern

Deputy Chairman of the Permanent Committee for Shari’ah and Legal Matters

http://www.citizensforbahrain.com/index.php/featured-articles/entry/know-your-deputy-anas-buhindi-6th-southern

Abdullah Bin-Huwail – 7th Southern 

Chairman of the Permanent Committee for Foreign, Defence and National Security Affairs

http://www.citizensforbahrain.com/index.php/featured-articles/entry/know-your-deputy-abdullah-bin-huwail-7th-southern

Dhiyab al-Noaimi – 8th Southern 

http://www.citizensforbahrain.com/index.php/featured-articles/entry/know-your-deputy-dhiyab-al-noaimi-8th-southern

Mohsin al-Bakri – 9th Southern 

Deputy Chairman of Permanent Committee for Public Utilities and Environment 

http://www.citizensforbahrain.com/index.php/featured-articles/entry/know-your-deputy-mohsin-al-bakri-9th-southern

Ahmed al-Mulla – 10th Southern

Chairman of Parliament

http://www.citizensforbahrain.com/index.php/featured-articles/entry/know-your-deputy-ahmed-al-mulla-10th-southern

Member of the Permanent Committee for Shari’ah and Legal Affairs

Member of the Rotten Meat Investigation Committee (established Feb 2015)

Al-Milad won his seat in southern Sitra in the 2014 elections, despite not establishing a media profile for himself at a national level. He continues to be a low key MP, not given to speaking out to the media.

As a lawyer, most of Milad’s contributions during parliamentary sessions concern procedural issues and legal points. During early 2015, he was outspoken against the Government’s usage of “urgent” for bills in cases which Milad has said is unjustified. He often refers back to constitutional protocols and the Parliamentary Code to justify his arguments. The reason Milad gave for rejecting the Budget during the 2 July 2015 vote was the protracted delay in submitting the Budget to Parliament by the Government.

In November 2015 MPs rejected his bid to leave the Meat Standards Committee because they judged his legal experience to be too valuable. So while Milad not be a particularly visible MP to the public, his committee roles and overall contribution are clearly valued.

Milad comes across in Parliament as a figure with an individual perspective who is willing to take a position contrary to that of other MPs. Milad was the only deputy to abstain and not vote in favour during the 24 February parliamentary vote on regulations governing retired military personnel.

Reportedly, Milad is affiliated with the Al-Rabitah Political Society, a moderate Shia society which Ali al-Atish is the only other formal member of in Parliament.

 

ACTIVITY DURING 2015-2016 PARLIAMENT SEASON

Housing, services & infrastructure

Standards of living, health & education

Economy & employment

Good governance & public finance

Subsidies: During the 27 Oct open parliamentary debate on subsidy reform, Milad called for interrogation of the Commerce and Finance Ministers over subsidy reform. He argued that the Budget offered no legal framework for the reforms and said that the Commerce Minister had failed to open up the meat import market to competition; while the Finance Minister was discriminating between citizens over compensation payments.

Policing & regional security

Terrorism: Al-Milad on 29 July condemned the killing of two policemen in Sitra, saying that “terrorism sought to undermine the state and attack national unity”.

Rights & freedoms

Youth, culture & sport

Parliament role & constituent engagement

Parliament Dec 2014-July 2015: Milad during a round-table Al-Wasat interview on 11 July alongside other MPs complained of the delay in submitting the Budget to Parliament, which wasn’t received until mid-May 2015. Milad added: Following approval of the Government Action Plan and prior to the arrival of the Budget many MPs assumed that the Action Plan was fixed. However, the Plan was the shadow of the Budget. It should have been defined that [the Action Plan] was an overview, not designed to be subjected to detailed interpretations – as the binding contract was the Budget. Therefore the Budget should have been sent first so that the Action Plan could have been aligned with it.

“Regarding the Government’s dealing with the Council of Representatives; the Government wanted to be the party making the decisions, while making MPs the front for these decisions before the public. This is what we saw in the case of the four draft bills which were sent to MPs with the urgent marking in order to be approved. Thus is would seem to the public that it was we who issued them, despite the fact that we weren’t given the time to study them. In legislative terms, I believe that the Public Health law and vaccination law were the most significant legislative achievements during this term.”

The Parliament is not led by the Government and no pressure was exerted on us. However, it should be acknowledged that MPs have their convictions on all issues and these convictions can change through engagement and persuasion. This is what occurred during our discussions on the Public Debt Bill and the Lualua Highway, in which the convictions of MPs changed during the course of the State Budget discussions.

Private bills: During the 3 Nov parliamentary session, MPs reacted angrily to the Govt’s rejection of a number of private bills put forward by MPs. Milad called for revisions to the manner that disability insurance was imposed and asked why foreign workers should have health fees imposed on them, even if they did not seek treatment.

During the 17 Nov MPs once again responded angrily to a new set of responses from the Government rejecting almost all of their proposals which had been submitted as private bills. Mohammed Milad complained that the Government’s responses were always too vague and responses from various ministries often contradicted each other. He added: “There is no shame in refusing a proposal outright, but they don’t seem to know what they want. They want to say that there are insufficient funds, but don’t want to admit this directly”.

Committees: During the 10 Nov parliamentary session, Milad’s application to withdraw from the Rotten Meat Committee was rejected by other MPs who claimed that his legal experience was too valuable.

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