ghazi-al-rahma.jpg

Al Rahmah: “Bahrain is the best example in the Gulf for religious tolerance”.

Deputy Head of Permanent Committee for Public Utilities and Environment

Member of Committee for Youth and Sports

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

@gfalrahma

 

 

Al Rahmah is a younger MP hailing from a largely pro-opposition constituency centred on Jidhafs and Sehla. He has spoken out confidently on a number of occasions in defence of improving public spending in order to benefit low-income Bahrainis more effectively. During parliamentary sessions he is inclined to be one of the quieter participants.

However Al Rahmah has worked effectively with younger MPs from neighbouring constituencies like Mohammed al-Dossary and Jalal al-Mahfoudh to jointly raise issues like housing and services of specific concern to local constituents. This collegiate attitude and a genuine concern for prosaic issues like health and infrastructure mark Al Rahmah out as a promising and committed young MP.

 

ACTIVITY DURING 2015-2016 PARLIAMENT SEASON       

Housing, services & infrastructure

Housing: Al Rahmah on 26 July met the Housing Minister to discuss ongoing housing projects.

Sewerage: Al Rahmah on 26 July announced the project for updating the sewerage system in his constituency.

Standards of living, health & education

Economy & employment

Unemployment: Hamad al-Dossary and Ghazi Al Rahmah on 20 Aug jointly called for the cancellation of the 1% levy on wages as unemployment insurance.

Good governance & public finance

Subsidies: Al Rahmah urged a delay in implementing proposed food subsidies measures to allow time for greater study and consideration, in order to avoid adversely affecting citizens.

Policing & regional security

Terrorism: Al Rahmah on 31 Aug strongly condemned the Al-Karranah bombing which killed one policeman. He said that such an attack violated the tolerant principles of Islamic law.

Rights & freedoms

Youth, culture & sport

Sport: On 22 Aug Al Rahmah noted his intention to submit a proposal regarding mandatory health testing for footballers in Bahrain, particularly after a number of recent sudden fatalities.

ACTIVITY DURING 2014-2015 PARLIAMENT SEASON

Housing, services & infrastructure

 

Housing: Al Rahmah on 12 January formally requested information from the Housing Ministry about ongoing projects in his local 4th Northern constituency.

 

On 4 April Al Rahmah called for the Shura Council to accelerate its efforts to issue a draft Housing Law, which he noted had been under discussion for five years and was of primary importance to citizens.

 

Al Rahmah put forward a private bill on 27 April proposing that those benefitting from the Salmabad housing project have the right to manage associated trading units.

 

Services: Al-Mahfoudh, Hamad al-Dossary and Ghazi Al Rahmah put forward a joint proposal for a centre for government services in the Northern Governorate. (23 March)

 

Sewage: MPs Ghazi Al Rahmah, Mohammed al-Dossary, Dhiyab al-Noaimi, Ali al-Muqla and Majid al-Asfour have submitted a private bill for implementing sewerage projects in Buquwwa, Jeblat Hibshi and Sehla. Al Rahmah issued a statement on 15 April noting the lack of functional sewerage systems in the area.

 

Traffic: During the 12 May parliamentary session around 15 proposals previously submitted by MPs were approved in a series of votes. These included an extension to the Sehla road running through Al Rahmah’s constituency, linking it to the Khalifa Bin-Salman highway.

 

Standards of living, health & education

 

Medical students: Al Rahmah called for greater efforts to accelerate the recruitment of medical and nursing graduates. (4 March)

 

Health: Al Rahmah questioned the Ministry of Health about numbers of medical staff and the proportion of Bahrainis among them (7 March). On the same day, MP Jalal Al-Mahfoudh directed a very similar query to the Education Ministry.

 

Families: On 22 February Al Rahmah submitted queries to the Ministry for Social Development about provisions for families in the 4th Northern constituency.

 

Widows: During the 17 March parliamentary debate about support for widows in paying electricity bills, Al Rahmah said that his constituency hosted 500 widows and divorcees, most of whom were unemployed and penniless.

 

Education: During the 24 March open parliamentary debate on Bahraini teachers Al Rahmah stressed that Parliament sought “fairness in recruitment and giving Bahrainis their rights of prioritization for recruitment”.

 

Meat subsidies: Al Rahmah on 28 May strongly criticized the Governments measures for cutting meat subsidies, describing their approach as “belittling the needs of the public” and criticized the unilateral approach the Govt had taken in failing to consult Parliament. He accused the Govt of trying to deflect MPs’ attention away from the Budget.

 

Economy & employment

 

Trade inspectors: Responding to comments by the Trade and Industry Minister during the 10 March parliamentary session, Al Rahmah said that the number of inspectors (63) was insufficient to monitor 85,000 trade licenses logged with the Ministry, saying that a high proportion of these were “imaginary”. The Minister responded that work was ongoing to increase the number of inspectors.

 

Fishing: On 7 April Al Rahmah called for support for fishermen affected by the extended period preventing fishing in certain areas. Al Rahmah on 30 April called for measures to curb fishing techniques which damaged fishing stocks.

 

During the 19 May parliamentary debate on the fishing industry, Al Rahmah said that “this is the most corrupt issue in Bahrain” as a result of those who sought personal benefit. He stated “there is corruption and decisions adopted years ago but not implemented. Some fishermen don’t do any fishing, they just smuggle shrimp”. Al Rahmah called for a committee of investigation to “close the legislative vacuum and increase punishments for violators”.

 

Medical staff: Abdulrahman Bumjaid, Al Rahmah and Abbas al-Madhi on 20 April issued a joint statement quoting statistics showing that more than half of doctors and nurses are foreigners. Al Rahmah condemned a planned new law from the Health Ministry delinking the training and recruitment of Bahraini medics. Al Rahmah said that this would raise unemployment levels among medical graduates and accused the Ministry of interfering in the legislative process. He stressed that Bahraini recruits should always be preferred.

 

Good governance & public finance

 

Public spending: On 18 January Al Rahmah stressed the importance of increasing incomes for ordinary Bahrainis and more efficient spending of public revenues. Therefore, he pointed out the importance of following up the Financial Audit Bureau’s report and punishing those who committed abuses.

 

Minister interrogation: Al Rahmah was one of the 26 MPs who signed a motion calling for the Health Minister’s interrogation over issues related to the Financial Audit Bureau Report. However, he abstained during the 5 May vote. 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).

 

Budget: On 13 May MPs Hamad al-Dossary, Jalal al-Mahfoudh and Al Rahmah called for Northern Governorate constituencies to receive a “fair share” of Budget allotments. Al Rahmah called for the construction of a health centre in his constituency and a youth and sports centre and well as prioritizing the housing file.

 

Policing & regional security

 

Royal pardon: Al Rahmah on 9 May praised the announcement of a royal pardon, saying that this “bestowed happiness in the hearts of the families of prisoners”.

 

Saudi mosque attack: Al-Rahmah on 23 May issued a statement strongly condemning the attack by ISIS against a Shia mosque in Saudi Arabia, killing around 21 people.

 

Al Rahmah and Jalal al-Mahfoudh in a joint statement on 30 May condemned the terrorist attack against a second Shia mosque in Saudi Arabia. The warned that such an attack sought to divide the Saudi nation.

 

Rights & freedoms

 

National Action Charter: On the 14 February anniversary of the 2001 Constitution Referendum, a joint statement from deputies Jalal Al-Mahfoudh, Hamad al-Dossary and Ghazi Al Rahmah said that “His Majesty the King’s announcement of comprehensive reforms in Bahrain was the greatest achievement for Bahrain”.

 

Religious tolerance: Al Rahmah on 21 February praised Bahrain as the “best example in the Gulf for religious tolerance”.

 

Women: Al Rahmah on 22 April met the Chairman of the Supreme Council for Women and discussed efforts for strengthening women’s rights.

 

Media: On 29 April Al Rahmah met the Information Minister who promised support for helping promote the activity of MPs.

 

Monarch: Al Rahmah on 21 May in a statement praised the selection of the King of Bahrain by the Arab Creators Union as the Best Arab National Personality for 2015.

 

Youth, culture & sport

 

Grand Prix: Al Rahmah on 7 March praised the importance of the Formula 1 in Bahrain for promoting Bahrain overseas and supporting its economy.

 

Youth: On 29 April Al Rahmah put forward a private bill proposing a centre devoted to “researching youth issues”. He said that the aim of this was for a better understanding of the necessary programmes and initiatives tailored to young people. He said that this centre would act as an umbrella organization for a range of youth initiatives.

 

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 and sports area in Al Rahmah’s 4th Northern district.

 

Parliament role & constituent engagement

 

Constituents: Al Rahmah on 18 April praised the efforts of the Prime Minister in attending to the needs of citizens, following the delegations from villages in the Northern Governorate to meet the PM.

 

Effectiveness rating

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

 

 

Results of 2014 elections – 4th Northern

Areas covered: Jidhafs, Jabla Habshi, North Sehla, Qadam, Abu-Quwwah

Housing blocks: 431, 433, 435, 439, 441, 447, 455, 457, 702, 704, 706, 708, 712, 714, 744

Registered voters: 9,277;   Percentage 1st round voter turnout: 27.0%

 

First round vote: 

 

Ghazi Al Rahmah – 646 (29.4%)Nawaf al-Sayed – 571 (25.9%); Huda Radhi – 438 (19.9%); Hussain Jawad – 335 (15.2%); Mohammed al-Aleywi – 211 (9.6%)

 

Second round vote:

 

Ghazi Al Rahmah – 853 (55.8%)

Nawaf al-Sayed – 675 (44.2%)

 

 

Profile of election campaign: Ghazi Faisal Hassan Hussain Al Rahmah

In the weeks before the elections Ghazi Al Rahmah came out with a very visible and clearly-branded campaign, geared towards younger voter demographics. His campaign team were also successful in soliciting media coverage, during which Al Rahmah criticized the performance of former deputies and condemned the poor provision of services to the local area. Ghazi pledged to work harder for his constituents in ensuring they were given due consideration for housing provision, services, infrastructure and jobs.

Al Rahmah has strongly criticized previous housing and services legislation which he said discriminated unfairly against many citizens. Ghazi and many other candidates have been particularly critical of the regulation that combines the income of husbands and wives to determine housing allocation, and is thus seen to discriminate unfairly. Al Rahmah has also criticized the provision of Government support, saying that 75% of this went to “foreign hotels and restaurants”. He urged public spending to be better directed for projects that benefit citizens and promote economic growth. Al Rahmah said his campaign budget was 8,000 BD ($21,000 US) – a relatively modest amount.

 

 

Constituency demographic

This was previously the largest electoral district in Bahrain (formerly 1st Northern, with 15,500 registered voters in 2006). However, much of the west of that constituency (the Sehla area) has been incorporated into the Capital Governorate, leaving behind a constituency with an average number of voters. Although this area is majority Shia, the slightly higher turnout reflects a more diverse demographic composition than in the areas to the north (1st & 2nd Northern; 3rd Capital) that are almost wholly pro-opposition.

This constituency and the neighbouring capital constituencies have a range of political and social affiliations: Ajam, Baharana, Hawala, loyalist, opposition, secular, naturalized-Shia and others.Although many locals were sympathetic to the boycott, many were also willing to come out and support candidates who represented the aspirations of constituents.


 

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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