QASEER.jpg

Chairman of the Human Rights Committee (from Nov 2015)

Member of Permanent Committee for Public Utilities and Environment (from Oct 2015)

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

Member of the Investigative Committee on Unregistered Foreign Workers (March 2015)

Member of Mumtalakat Investigation Committee (April 2015)

Deputy Chairman of the Permanent Committee for Financial and Economic Affairs (Nov 2014 – Oct 2015

@NaserAlQaseer

By winning chairmanship of the Parliament Human Rights Committee in November 2015, Al-Qaseer has been put in a highly visible position. There is an expectation from other MPs that Al-Qaseer must take the lead in this role in defending Bahrain’s reputation overseas. 

During the first few months of the new Parliament, Al-Qaseer was the Deputy Chairman on the Financial Committee, making him a significant voice on governance and financial issues.

However, during the 14 October vote concerning membership of the Finance Committee for the new parliamentary term, Isa al-Kooheji, Khalid al-Shaer and Nasir al-Qaseer were all voted off the Committee after a substantial number of MPs lobbied for changes to the membership of this Committee. Parliamentary sources told the media that Al-Kooheji wand Al-Qaseer were seen as not having been sufficiently tough with ministers in negotiations over the State Budget in previous months.

Al-Qaseer has often stressed the importance of job creation and living standards. During the 2 July 2015 vote on the State Budget, Al-Qaseer strongly spoke out in support of the need to pass the Budget.

 

ACTIVITY DURING 2015-2016 PARLIAMENT SEASON

Housing, services & infrastructure

Housing: Al-Qaseer on 31 Oct said that families benefitting from the Bilad al-Qadeem housing project would be receiving the keys for their new homes in December.

Good governance & public finance

Subsidies: Al-Qaseer on 14 Oct called for the Govt to move forward on subsidies reform in a manner which secured suitable standards of living for the public. He noted that large companies and non-Bahrainis shouldn’t be benefitting from subsidies.

Audit report: Al-Qaseer on 14 Nov was an interview guest on the Inside Parliament programme on Bahrain TV. He explained procedures for following up the Financial Audit Bureau report in Parliament.

Policing & regional security

Terrorism: Al-Qaseer on 29 July condemned the killing of two policemen in Sitra saying that these attacks sought to create disunity and discord. Al-Qaseer on 25 Aug condemned terrorist incidents in Muharraq. Al-Qaseer on 29 Aug strongly condemned the Al-Karranah bombing which killed one policeman. He said that this “exposed the cowardly face of terrorism”.

Iran: Al-Qaseer on 23 July condemned statements by the Iranian leadership concerning Bahrain. He noted that such comments and threats had recurred repeatedly. He noted the recent foiled Iranian attempts to smuggle weapons into Bahrain.

On 2 Oct Qaseer voiced his support for the expulsion of the Iranian ambassador, after the discovery of a bomb-making factory in Bahrain linked to Iran and other recent hostile Iranian acts.

Travel: Al-Qaseer on 19 Nov praised the Justice Ministry’s initiative for an electronic process for notifying those banned from travel abroad.

Rights & freedoms

Human Rights Committee: Reports over recent weeks have indicated that up to 15 MPs were competing for the five seats in the parliamentary Human Rights Committee. There were criticisms that the Committee, formerly led by Khalid al-Shaer, hadn’t been sufficiently assertive in promoting Bahrain’s human rights record on the world stage. After failing to reach agreement, the matter came to a vote during the 10 November parliamentary session. New members, Majid al-Asfour, Abdulrahman Bumjaid and Nasir al-Qaseer were voted in, with 25, 22 and 20 votes respectively.

AlQaseer said that his Committee on 23 Nov discussed a proposal which obliged the Govt to have a holistic strategy for dealing with the human rights reports produced by foreign NGOs.

Parliament role & constituent engagement

Committees: During the 14 October vote concerning membership of the Finance Committee for the new parliamentary term, Isa al-Kooheji, Khalid al-Shaer and Nasir al-Qaseer were voted off the Committee with only ten votes, ten votes and 15 votes respectively. During the same vote, Jalal al-Mahfoudh won 37 votes, Mohammed al-Ammadi won 36 votes, Abdulrahman Bu-Ali (selected as the Chairman of the Finance Committee with Al-Mahfoudh as his deputy) 35 votes, Adel Bin-Hamid 34 votes, Majid al-Asfour 31 votes, Ahmed Qaratah 28 votes and Ali Bufarsan 25 votes.

 

Affiliation: According to several media sources on 13 October, around 13 MPs are moving to form a parliamentary bloc. These included Jalal al-Mahfoudh, Ghazi Al Rahmah, Nasir al-Qaseer, Khalid al-Shaer, Adel Bin-Hamid, Majid al-Majid, Majid al-Asfour and Jamila al-Sammak. On 14 November 2015 Hamad al-Dossary announced that he had been selected as the leader of a new bloc, with Adel Bin-Hamid as his deputy. Al-Qaseer was one of the declared members.

ACTIVITY DURING 2014-2015 PARLIAMENT SEASON

Housing, services & infrastructure

Services: Al-Qaseer questioned the Ministry of Social Development on 7 March about its provisions for his 5th Capital constituency.

Planning: On 6 April Al-Qaseer questioned the Minister of Works about planning and categorization of new areas of housing.

Housing: On 30 April the Housing Minister responded to a question from Al-Qaseer concerning numbers of housing allotment requests in his constituency and the progress made on housing units for constituents.

Standards of living, health & education

Food security: Al-Qaseer on 4 May said that the “Rotten Meat” Committee, having received a number of responses from the Government regarding its queries, had decided to embark on a number of fact-finding visits.

Ramadan supplies: Al-Qaseer on 7 May stressed that government ministries must make preparations to sure ample provisions of food supplies for Ramadan.

Meat subsidies: Al-Qaseer on 21 May said: Be totally sure that we will not take any decision which is not in the interests of Bahraini citizens and the benefits due to them. However, the Council of Representatives will not stand against the reorganization of public spending”. Al-Qaseer said that Parliament was willing if necessary to use its powers to halt the cancellation of meat subsidies, but added that “we have to concentrate on our priorities in a realistic manner”.

During the 26 May parliamentary discussion, a majority of MPs spoke out against the Govt’s plan for halting meat subsidies. Al-Qaseer said: “We are dumbfounded, because the Finance Minister promised us that no decision would be taken without consulting deputies. However, it is obvious that the Government is trying to divert our attention so we don’t focus on the Budget.”

Economy & employment

Unregistered workers: Al-Qaseer on 8 April said that the Committee for discussing unregistered workers had discussed a number of proposals, after consulting numerous official bodies.

Visas: Al-Qaseer praised recent amendments to Bahrain’s entry visa regime for encouraging visitors. (7 April)

Good governance & public finance

Audit report: Nasir al-Qaseer in early January said that six to eight weeks would be needed to properly discuss the audit, after which there would be discussion of action to be taken about parties implicated in any financial impropriety. Al-Qaseer said that there would be “no let-up in taking tough positions against any instances of corruption in government institutions.

Al-Qaseer told the media that the abuses found in the Financial Audit Bureau’s annual report were a “dangerous signal” for the wastage of public funds. He stressed that deputies should take firm action to address this. (19 January)

During the 14 April parliamentary debate concerning the annual Financial Audit Bureau report, Al-Qaseer said that his Financial Committee had studied the report and found 51 violations “with a criminal suspicion”.

Minister interrogation: During the 5 May parliamentary session an insufficient number of MPs voted in support of interrogating the Health Minister over issues raised in the Audit report (23 supported, below the 2/3 quota of 27 MPs).Al-Qaseer voted in favour of the interrogation.

Financial Committee: Al-Qaseer on 25 February said that the Committee had discussed the previous Parliament’s decision on the national debt and would recommend abiding by the position of the previous Parliament. He said that the committee had also discussed additional privileges for pensioners and proposed measures for ensuring the compatibility of financial dealings with Islamic principles.

Al-Qaseer said that on 2 March the Financial Committee had discussed the Shura Council’s observations on the proposed National Debt bill. However, after comparing the positions of the Shura Council and Ministers, Al-Qaseer said that his Committee had decided to abide by the position of the previous Parliament’s Committee on the proposals. He said that the Committee has also listened to proposals from MPs on the issue of payments to low income families to counter the effects of inflation.

Public debt: Al-Qaseer on 21 March told the media that the Finance Minister was due to meet MPs to discuss reasons for raising the national debt. Al-Qaseer said that the parliamentary Finance Committee was ready to listen to the Minister’s justifications, but was unlikely to alter its opposition to further increases in public debt.

According to Al-Watan on 14 May Al-Qaseer was one of the 20 MPs who said that they would give conditional support to raising the debt ceiling to 7bn BD.

Budget: On 5 April Al-Qaseer praised the Prime Minister’s recent comments about the necessity of close coordination with the Parliament and ensuring that the rights and benefits of citizens are not removed in the forthcoming budget.

MPs’ benefits: On 12 May, Parliament voted to delay two weeks the vote on modifying retirement payments for MPs. Al-Qaseer cited the 2011 by-election MPs who weren’t entitled to benefits and having lost their seats were now unemployed. However, he said there was no need to raise the ceiling level for benefits.

Shura bonuses: Al-Qaseer on 18 May, along with Jamal Buhassan, Hamad al-Dossary, Jamal Dawoud and Muhsin al-Bakri; submitted a private bill proposing that a 1,200 BD bonus for Shura Council members be cancelled, particularly after the reduction in relative importance of the Shura Council in the light of the 2012 constitutional amendments.

Policing & regional security

Terrorism: Al-Qaseer on 9 May condemned the attempt to smuggle explosives into Saudi Arabia across the Causeway.

Youth, culture & sport

Sports: Jalal al-Mahfoudh, Nasser al-Qaseer, Khalid al-Shaer, Osama al-Khajah and Ibrahim al-Hammadi on 23 May proposed that a tax on tobacco be used to fund sports clubs. They noted that the proposal came following consultation with a number of sporting bodies.

Parliament role & constituent engagement

Delegation: Al-Qaseer on 24 April during a delegation to Brussels stressed the importance of widening ties between the GCC and the EU Parliament.

Effectiveness rating

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

 

Results of 2014 elections – 5th Capital

Areas covered: Bilad al-Qadeem, Zinj, Salmaniya, Segaiya, Mahooz and Abu Asheera

Housing blocks: 328, 329, 330, 331, 332, 334, 358, 359, 360, 361, 362, 363, 364

Registered voters: 7,782;   Percentage 1st round voter turnout: 32.3%

First round vote: 

 

Nasser al-Qaseer – 821 (36.0%); Wafa Ajoor – 523 (22.9%); Adel Al Safr – 368 (16.1%); Mamoud al-Hamar – 143 (6.3%); Hussain Bukhamas – 118; Kadhim al-Uwaynati – 117; Ibrahim al-Awadhi – 96; Basimah Saleh – 64; Rashad Umar -32

Second round vote:

 

Nasser al-Qaseer – 1047 (55.6%)

Wafa Ajoor – 836 (44.4%)

 

Profile of election campaign: Nasser Abdulridha Mohammed Ali al-Qaseer

In a vigourous first-round campaign Nasser al-Qaseer consistently came through as one of the more consistent campaigners, although he himself may be surprised at the strength of his support in the first round vote; having seen off rivals like businessman Adel Al Safr, who seemed to have far greater campaign funds available.

Nasser al-Qaseer is a prominent advocate for strengthening Bahrain’s sporting achievements. His sporting roles include being treasurer of the Basketball Association. “The current situation requires change, in terms of increasing standards of living and improving oversight and legislation;” Al-Qaseer told Al-Ayam newspaper.

Al-Qaseer said his priorities are job creation, “increasing the economic and social rights of women”, and in particular the housing issue. He said he would address housing through “increasing the role of the private sector in implementing housing projects, speeding up the rate of construction, accelerating housing transfers, and cancelling the condition of linking the wages of spouses”.

Sitting MP Abdulhakim al-Shamari had been the obvious front-runner in this contest, until a legal complaint from a rival about Al-Shamari’s main address being outside the constituency led to a court decision to remove Al-Shamari from the contest.

 

Constituency demographic

The inclusion of several opposition strongholds made this sector an unpredictable one, particularly given the recent boundary changes which mean that this district is an entirely new creation from several former districts.

The 32.3% first round turnout can be considered low, given the intensity of the campaigning in this district.


 

 

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

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