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Al-Muqla: “We will not be cornered by time constraints being used to pressure us into accepting the Budget in the form delivered by the Government”.

Member of the Permanent Committee for Services

Member of Parliamentary Sub-Committee for Reviewing Subsidy Reform (July 2015)

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

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

@AliMoqila

 

As one of the two representatives from the Salafist Al-Asalah Society, Al-Muqla has a visible Islamist agenda on many issues. However, he has also tackled populist issues like the rotten imported meat scandal.

Al-Muqla’s comments on issues related to the State Budget and the need to rein in spending, increase revenues and consider the national debt, demonstrate a concern for macroeconomic issues.

During April 2015, Al-Muqla was outspoken in criticizing the delays in issuing the annual State Budget to Parliament. Along with a number of other Islamist MPs, Al-Muqla voted against the Budget during the 2 July 2015 parliamentary session. During the same session, Al-Muqla was among the minority who voted against increasing the debt ceiling.

Al-Muqla has been consistent in speaking out about regional issues, including Palestine, Syria and Yemen. He is particularly outspoken in condemning Iranian interference in the region.

 

ACTIVITY DURING 2015-2016 PARLIAMENT SEASON       

Housing, services & infrastructure

Housing: On 21 Aug Al-Muqla praised the PM’s decision for a housing project in Arad. On 26 Aug Al-Muqla once again stressed the acute housing needs of his local constituency and proposed nearby areas suitable for projects.

Standards of living, health & education

Food security: Al-Muqla on 17 July warned that smuggling of food abroad and the prioritization of produce for restaurants were among the primary causes of shortages of meat over the Eid period.

On 1 Aug Al-Muqla said that the Committee was discussing the proposal for a subsidies smart card for fuel and food and that there was general agreement on the idea. He said that such an initiative had proved its worth in other states.

Economy & employment

Good governance & public finance

Subsidies: On 30 July Al-Muqla said that there would be a joint parliamentary-ministerial meeting on subsidies the following week and that a decision had been made to fix the Committee at 4 members (Al-Asoumi, Al-Bakri & Al-Muqla – after removing Al-Majid, Qaratah & Al-Madhi).

Al-Muqla on 2 Sep said that Committee members and the Govt were close to reaching agreement on fuel subsidies. He said that MPs had warned of the indirect impact of subsidy reform. He warned that planned meat compensation payments would not be sufficient to meet the costs of families.

Al-Muqla on 29 Sep said that the Committee had formally asked the Govt to further delay the implementation of meat subsidy reforms to give more time to discuss the smart card option. He said that if the Govt remained committed to compensation payments, the best option was to dissolve the Sub-Committee to “allow the Government to shoulder the consequences of its decision before the public”.

Al-Muqla on 4 Oct said that the parliamentary committee had failed to stop the Govt from halting subsidies, so he said that there was no point to the Committee’s continued existence. He called for the Govt to go back on its decision to halt meat subsidies.

Al-Muqla on 6 Oct told Al-Bilad newspaper that MPs were in a state of shock after the “unilateral” measures taken by the Govt on sanctions. He said that MPs during the new parliamentary term were ready to take this matter further using the available legislative tools. 

Policing & regional security

Terrorism: Al-Muqla on 30 July condemned the killing of two policemen in Sitra and stressed the need for stiff punishments. Al-Muqla on 13 Aug issued a statement praising the Interior Ministry for apprehending those accused of involvement in the recent Sitra attack which killed two policemen.

Al-Muqla on 6 Aug condemned the mosque attack in Abha Saudi Arabia.

Iran: Al-Muqla on 24 July condemned statements by the Iranian leadership concerning Bahrain. He praised the Interior Ministry’s comments regarding Iran’s interference in Bahrain’s internal affairs.

Palestine: Al-Muqla on 1 Aug strongly condemned the injury of a Palestinian child as a result of Israeli actions.

Syria: Al-Muqla on 4 Sep condemned the world’s failure to address the Syrian refugee issue.

Yemen: Al-Muqla on 4 Sep extended his condolences over the deaths of 5 Bahraini soldiers and other GCC troops in Yemen. He said that the troops sacrifice was in the cause of halting the “Safawi advance”.

 

ACTIVITY DURING 2015-2016 PARLIAMENT SEASON       

 

Housing, services & infrastructure

 

Housing: On 21 Aug Al-Muqla praised the PM’s decision for a housing project in Arad. On 26 Aug Al-Muqla once again stressed the acute housing needs of his local constituency and proposed nearby areas suitable for projects.

 

Standards of living, health & education

 

Food security: Al-Muqla on 17 July warned that smuggling of food abroad and the prioritization of produce for restaurants were among the primary causes of shortages of meat over the Eid period.

 

On 1 Aug Al-Muqla said that the Committee was discussing the proposal for a subsidies smart card for fuel and food and that there was general agreement on the idea. He said that such an initiative had proved its worth in other states.

 

Economy & employment

 

Good governance & public finance

 

Subsidies: On 30 July Al-Muqla said that there would be a joint parliamentary-ministerial meeting on subsidies the following week and that a decision had been made to fix the Committee at 4 members (Al-Asoumi, Al-Bakri & Al-Muqla – after removing Al-Majid, Qaratah & Al-Madhi).

 

Policing & regional security

 

Terrorism: Al-Muqla on 30 July condemned the killing of two policemen in Sitra and stressed the need for stiff punishments. Al-Muqla on 13 Aug issued a statement praising the Interior Ministry for apprehending those accused of involvement in the recent Sitra attack which killed two policemen.

 

Al-Muqla on 6 Aug condemned the mosque attack in Abha Saudi Arabia.

 

Iran: Al-Muqla on 24 July condemned statements by the Iranian leadership concerning Bahrain. He praised the Interior Ministry’s comments regarding Iran’s interference in Bahrain’s internal affairs.

 

Palestine: Al-Muqla on 1 Aug strongly condemned the injury of a Palestinian child as a result of Israeli actions.

 

ACTIVITY DURING 2014-2015 PARLIAMENT SEASON

 

Housing, services & infrastructure

Housing benefit: Al-Muqla was one of five MPs who proposed increasing housing allowance from 100 to 200 BD, the proposal was debated and approved in Parliament on 17 March.

Housing: During the 21 April parliamentary session, MPs agreed on a plan to build on the Arad “green belt”. Al-Muqla said that he had given consideration to these lands since his time as a municipal councilor and they deserved to be used for a housing project, rather than wasted.

During the 5 May parliamentary session, MPs approved a proposal for a construction project near Arad. Al-Muqla commented that “the Ministry of Works said that this is private land. However, I understand this to be state land”.

Al-Muqla on 30 May questioned the delays over completion of a housing project in Arad.

Events centre: Al-Muqla on 4 May complained that the land allotted for an events centre in Muharraq was too small.

Industrial area: Al-Muqla on 9 May demanded the transferal of the Arad industrial area far away from residential areas. He said that he would submit a formal bill on this issue.

Car insurance: Al-Muqla on 26 May submitted a proposal for monitoring costs of car insurance.

Standards of living, health & education

Food safety: Al-Muqla has been closely involved in the “rotten meat” issue and has been fiercely critical of the companies cited as being involved in importing meats unfit for consumption. On 5 April Al-Muqla claimed that shipments of meat unsuitable for consumption were still a problem for Bahrain, citing the case of a Pakistani lorry containing animals suffering from yellow fever.

Meat: Al-Muqla on 18 May said that the Rotten Meat Committee had discussed their findings from a series of visits. The Committee reviewed responses it had received from the Health and Agriculture Ministries. Al-Muqla said that the Committee had noticed “inconsistencies” and “shortcomings” in the responses.

Meat subsidies: Al-Muqla on 23 May criticized the Parliament Chairman Ahmed al-Mulla regarding his statements regarding the removal of meat subsidies. Al-Muqla warned that MPs would not pass the Budget unless this proposal was repealed. He added: “We had hoped that the Parliament Chairman would defend the people and represent the rejection of deputies of this belittling of the Bahraini citizen… we will never accept the Budget in this ridiculous form”.

During the 2 June open parliamentary debate on planned subsidy cuts, Al-Muqla said: “If the Government was serious about inclusion of the legislative branch in the subsidy reform strategy, then it would withdraw its recent decision on meat subsidies”.

Health fees: Al-Muqla has stated that Bahraini citizens are the primary “victims” of the Health Ministry’s “medical tax” on non-Bahraini workers. He said that the fees would make small businesses les economic and would increase inflation, claiming that the fees were unconstitutional.

Fishing: During the 19 May parliamentary debate on the fishing industry, Al-Muqla pointed out that certain fishermen were doing great harm to the environment. He said that there must be heavier punishments for violators.

Schools: Al-Muqla on 1 June said that he had asked the Finance Committee to ensure the inclusion of new schools promised for Arad in the Budget.

Good governance & public finance

Action Plan: On 20 January Al-Muqla spoke critically of the Government Action Plan, which he said lacked clarity and mechanisms for implementation. Al-Muqla criticized the “generalities and theoretical pleasantries” found in the Action Plan, saying that “fundamental clarifications and additions would be needed” in order for the proposals to be approved.

Al-Muqla said that the drop in oil prices needed to be accounted for so that the public properly understood how this impacted Government activity, “especially when 86% of the Government’s general revenue comes from oil industry incomes”.

Planning: Al-Muqla spoke on 20 January about the need for a governmental institution for planning. A majority of parliamentarians on 21 April voted in favour of the Legal Committee’s recommendation to reject the proposal for a new Planning Authority. Al-Muqla said that Bahrain was in “extreme need” of such an institution. He said planning should be holistic across the various government departments.

Budget: Al-Muqla said that parliamentarians would not pass the state budget without ensuring how it benefitted citizens. He said that the Budget would be the key test for judging whether the Government Action Plan proposals were serious and meaningful. (February)

On 11 April Al-Muqla issued a statement claiming that the delay in issuing the budget was unconstitutional and would “block vital projects”. He claimed that according to the constitution the Government was “six months late” in submitting the Budget to Parliament.

On 18 April Al-Muqla stressed the “concerns” raised by the delay in issuing the annual budget to Parliament. In the context of the Parliament’s refusal to raise the Government’s debt ceiling Al-Muqla highlighted that “the Government shouldn’t be allowed to borrow against the interests of citizens”.

On 25 April Al-Muqla again criticized the delay in issuing the Budget to Parliament. “We will not be cornered by time constraints being used to pressure us into accepting the Budget in the form delivered by the Government”.

Audit report: On 16 February Al-Muqla stressed Parliament’s seriousness in taking measures against officials who had committed abuses, saying that serious cases may justify summoning ministers for interrogation and referral of cases to the Public Prosecution.

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-Muqla was one of only three MPs who voted against the interrogation.

Public debt: On 25 March, Al-Muqla rejected rumours that services to citizens could be halted in the light of the parliamentary decision not to increase the debt ceiling. Al-Muqla stressed that these services were the “right” of the citizen which nobody could compromise on.

Al-Muqla was among the deputies who strongly welcomed the Prime Minister’s pledges that essential public services and benefit programmes would not be affected by the parliamentary vote limiting the debt ceiling. He issued a joint statement with Abdulrahman Bu-Ali and Jalal al-Mahfoudh, which also questioned the Government’s failure to outline a plan for addressing the public debt.  (1 April)

Al-Muqla on 6 May noted that the state had borrowed 16bn BD over 10 years. He stressed the need to ensure that Mumtalakat, which runs around 30 public companies, was profitable.

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

Rights, freedoms & religion

Women’s rights: Al-Muqla was one of a clique of MPs (also Isa Turki, Ibrahim al-Hammadi, Nabil al-Balooshi and Jamal Dawoud) who advocated an allowance for women who refrained from working. Their controversial and much-criticized proposal asserted that they should “encourage women to remain in the home”.

Media: Al-Muqla was one of 5 MPs who proposed educational TV programmes for promoting family stability, the proposal was agreed by Parliament. (17 March)

Exclusion: On 21 March Al-Muqla praised the directive to exclude the “atheist” Lebanese poet Jumana Haddad. Al-Muqla expressed his appreciation at the Twitter campaign opposing Haddad’s arrival. Al-Muqla called for standards to be imposed on the Culture Authority dictating what kinds of personalities were allowed to participate in such events in Bahrain.

Policing & regional security

Passports: Al-Muqla (along with Muhsin al-Bakri, Anas Buhindi, Abdulhalim Murad and Mohammed al-Jowder) are proposing relocating the National Passport and Residence Affairs building to a more convenient location. Al-Muqla noted that the location was no longer easily accessible or large enough to cope with its work load.

Youth, culture & sport

Youth: During the 12 May parliamentary session around 15 proposals previously submitted by MPs were approved in a series of votes. These included setting up a youth centre in Arad.

Parliament role & constituent engagement

Public engagement: On 28 May Ahmed Qaratah, Ali al-Muqla and Mohammed al-Jowder participated in a majils event in Arad to discuss the State Budget.

 

 

Effectiveness rating

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

 

 

Results of 2014 elections – 7th Muharraq

Areas covered: Arad

Housing blocks: 240, 241, 242, 243, 244, 245, 246, 247, 248

Registered voters: 13,204;    Percentage 1st round voter turnout: 74.2%

First round vote: 

 

Ali al-Muqla (Asalah) 1599 (17.1%); Nasir al-Fadhalah (Minbar) 1525 (16.3%); Mohammed al-Sulaiti – 1493 (16.0%); Badr al-Hammadi (Watan) – 1474 (15.8%); Abdulrahman al-Khashram – 1114 (11.9%); Khalid Ibrahim – 912 (9.8%); Mohammed Wazzan – 528; Mohammed Halal – 363; Adel al-Mannai – 331

Second round vote:

 

Ali al-Muqla (Asalah) – 4057 (50.6%)

Nasir al-Fadhalah (Minbar) – 3968 (49.5%)

 

 

Profile of election campaign: Ali Yaqoub Yousif Mohammed al-Muqla – Asalah

Asalah’s Ali al-Muqla beat Minbar’s Nasir al-Fadhalah in a tense second round run-off. Al-Muqallah: “I have expended all my efforts in the service of Muharraq. I trust in the awareness of citizens who make up the support base of Al-Asalah Society in the constituency. I have been a counselor, now I aspire to represent the area as a deputy”.

In these elections Asalah and Minbar went head to head in three constituencies – 10th Northern, 1st Southern and 7th Muharraq. It should be remembered that in 2006 these two Sunni societies formed an elections alliance. This relationship broke down in 2010, with the two societies going head to head in several constituencies and as a result only gaining five seats between them.

Relations between these two societies were further strained in 2014 with Minbar deciding to contest the elections within the Al-Fateh Coalition and Asalah remaining outside, which seems to have thwarted any attempts to coordinate elections strategies. Only three seats for these two societies in the 2014 elections is an indicator of the decline in trust towards political societies felt by voters.

 

Constituency demographic

This relatively small constituency in terms of land area has the highest number of registered voters out of all the constituencies in Bahrain, at 13,204. Arad has a predominantly Sunni working class demographic. Commentators were divided on whether this contest would be dominated by the political groupings or whether independent and technocratic figures will be more appealing to the voters. This constituency was formerly held by independent MP Othman Sharif from 2002 to 2006 and 2011 to 2014.

 

 

 

Know your deputy: Profiles of other Bahrain MPs

 

Adel al-Asoumi – 1st Capital

 

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

 

Deputy-Head of Parliamentary Human Rights Committee

 

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 

 

Deputy Head of the Permanent Committee for Financial and Economic Matters

 

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

 

Ali al-Atish – 6th Capital

 

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 

 

Head of Committee for Youth and Sports

 

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

 

Head of the Permanent Committee for Financial and Economic Matters

 

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

 

Mohammed al-Jowder – 5th Muharraq

 

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

 

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

 

Fatimah al-Asfour – 1st Northern

 

Deputy Head of the Committee for Women and Children

 

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

 

Jalal Kadhim al-Mahfoudh – 2nd Northern

 

Deputy Head of Committee for Youth and Sports

 

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

 

Hamad al-Dossary – 3rd Northern 

 

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

 

Ghazi Al Rahmah – 4th Northern 

 

Deputy Head of Permanent Committee for Public Utilities and Environment 

 

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

 

Ali al-Aradi – 5th Northern

 

Deputy Head of Parliament

 

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

 

Rua al-Haiki – 6th Northern

 

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

 

Shaikh Majid al-Majid – 7th Northern

 

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

 

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

 

Deputy Head of Committee for Supporting the Palestinian People

 

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

 

Mohammed al-Ammadi – 10th Northern

 

Head 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

 

Head of Permanent Committee for Public Utilities and Environment 

 

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

 

Jamila al-Sammak – 12th Northern

 

Head of the Committee for Women and Children

 

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

 

Khalid al-Shaer – 1st Southern

 

Head of Parliamentary Human Rights Committee

 

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 Head 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 Head 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 Head 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 

 

Head 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 

 

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

 

Ahmed al-Mulla – 10th Southern

 

Head of Parliament

 

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

 


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