Al-Dossary: “The Bahraini citizen is at the heart of all action taken by Parliament”
Member of the Permanent Committee for Shari’ah and Legal Matters
Member of Parliamentary Human Rights Committee
Member of the Investigative Committee on Unregistered Foreign Workers (March 2015)
As a pro-youth candidate, Hamad emerged during the 2014 elections as perhaps one of the most recognizable new faces, gaining plenty of media coverage. He was active through the social media and engaging widely with the local public.
Al-Dossary had a somewhat hesitant start to his parliamentary career and he remains one of the less-heard figures during parliamentary sessions. However, he has been increasingly vocal on following up on housing initiatives for local constituents and in proposing the establishment of new health centres and schools. He is clearly a well-motivated figure with a lot to contribute.
Al-Dossary has worked in close cooperation with other young MPs from neighbouring Shia-majority constituencies, like Jalal Kadhim al-Mahfoudh and Ghazi Al Rahmah to address issues of shared concern, like housing provision.
ACTIVITY DURING 2015-2016 PARLIAMENT SEASON
Economy & employment
Unemployment: Al-Dossary and Ghazi Al Rahmah on 20 Aug jointly called for the cancellation of the 1% levy on wages as unemployment insurance.
Coastline: Al-Dossary on 6 Aug called for action to make the Hamala coastline fully available for the public, particularly as a location for leisure and relaxation during the hot summer months.
Al-Dossary on 7 Aug said that local Hamala sailors and fishermen rejected the proposal to locate their port facilities in Dumistan.
Good governance & public finance
Subsidies: Al-Dossary on 17 July said that the Joint Committee for discussing the subsidies issue was studying methods to divert funds towards citizens. Al-Dossary on 25 Aug called on the Govt to delay subsidy reform until the coming Budget to avoid unnecessary harm for citizens.
Policing & regional security
Terrorism: Al-Dossary on 26 July called for those involved in terrorism to have their nationality revoked. Al-Dossary on 28 July condemned the killing of two policemen in Sitra and stressed the need for stiff punishments. Al-Dossary on 7 Aug condemned the mosque attack in Abha Saudi Arabia, calling for unified action to dry up sources of terrorist funding. Al-Dossary on 24 Aug called on local people in Budaya to vocally reject acts of terrorism. Al-Dossary on 29 Aug strongly condemned the Al-Karranah bombing which killed one policeman. He called for the strongest punishments against those involved.
Iran: Al-Dossary on 23 July condemned statements by the Iranian leadership concerning Bahrain, which he described as interference in Bahrain’s internal affairs.
Saudi Arabia: Al-Dossary on 12 July conveyed his condolences on the passing of former Saudi Foreign Minister Saud al-Faisal. He said that Al-Faisal’s “distinguished positions towards Bahrain would never be forgotten”.
Rights & freedoms
Discrimination: In a joint statement with Ghazi Al Rahmah, Al-Dossary stressed the urgency of laws to combat discrimination and incitement to hatred.
Parliament role & constituent engagement
Parliament: In comments to the media, Al-Dossary on 17 July praised the “professional” and “distinguished” work of MPs in the 2014 Parliament, which he said had resulted in numerous achievements, particularly in securing benefits and support due to citizens. He said that the “Bahraini citizen is at the heart of all action taken by Parliament”. He noted that the pledges arrived at with the Govt in the 2015-18 Action Plan formed the basis of Parliament’s approach to the recently-approved Budget.
ACTIVITY DURING 2014-2015 PARLIAMENT SEASON
Housing, services & infrastructure
Housing: On 13 March, the Minister of Housing responded extensively to questions submitted by Al-Dossary about housing projects in the locality of his constituency, including progress on the Northern Town housing project.
During a 17 March debate about housing rights and benefits, Al-Dossary criticized delays in housing legislation, with bills remaining in the Shura Council for more than four years. Jalal al-Mahfoudh and Al-Dossary submitted evidence from joint research showing housing requests in northern constituencies going back to 1986.
During the 24 March open parliamentary debate on housing the Minister responded to queries by Al-Dossary, saying that later on in the year, 233 homes would be distributed in his local Hamala area.
Al-Dossary formally questioned the Housing Minister about a number of housing projects in his constituency. (19 April)
Al-Dossary on 29 April submitted a private bill for giving residents of new housing units the right to expand and modify their properties. He noted that with long housing waiting lists, families often grew in the meantime.
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)
Pavement: Al-Dossary co-sponsored a proposal by Ali al-Aradi on 5 May for paved areas for the villages along the Budaya road (Shakhura, Qadam, Hajar…), to include areas where young people could safely play sports.
Traffic: Al-Dossary on 18 May confirmed that the Works Minister had promised that work would begin on the Janibiya flyover this year for reducing congestion due to lorries.
Standards of living, health & education
Health: On 7 April Al-Dossary put forward a private proposal for the establishment of 4 dental centres.
Following discussions with constituents, Al-Dossary has put forward a private bill proposing a health centre for his constituency. Al-Dossary also noted the pressures on local schools and proposed setting up a “model school” in the area. (19 April)
Unemployment benefit: On 9 April Al-Dossary questioned the Labour Minister on the size of the unemployment insurance fund and how many people benefitting.
Legal Committee: Al-Dossary said that on 22 April the Committee had discussed issues related to retirement benefits and the civil service.
Schools: During the 27 April debate on the private bill for a secondary school in the Budaya Road area, Budaya MP Al-Dossary notes the poor state of existing local schools.
Al-Dossary during the 5 May parliamentary session criticized the Education Minister for transferring teachers away from Budaya girls primary school, he urged them to stop this policy of “vengeance”. During the same session MPs approved another proposal by Al-Dossary for getting rid of temporary wooden classes at Budaya schools. Al-Dossary disparagingly described the classes as “boxes”.
Economy & employment
Ports & fishing: The Minister of Works responded on 11 April to questions by Al-Dossary about the ports project for local fishermen, which he said would serve Hamala, Dumistan and Kazrakan.During the 14 April parliamentary session Al-Dossary once again raised the issue of the Hamala port facilities with the Minister of Works. He stated “we gave 1 million dinars to build a port for the Hamala village” questioning how the village could be left without a fishing port. In reply, the Minister cited the high cost of ports and claimed there were only nine registered fishermen in Hamala.
On 30 April Al-Dossary, along with Khalid al-Shaer, Abbas al-Madhi, Ali al-Aradi and Mohammed al-Maarifi put forward a private bill proposing a fishing port in Hamala.
Unregistered workers: Al-Dossary on 15 April stressed the need for ministries to cooperate fully with the investigations of the parliamentary committee probing the unregistered foreign workers issue.
Good governance & public finance
Action Plan: At the parliamentary session for approving the Plan Al-Dossary proposed the creation of an independent initiative for strengthening the role of the municipal councils. He called on MPs and Ministers to implement their promises in this regard.
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-Dossary voted in favour of the interrogation.
Budget: On 13 May MPs Al-Dossary, Jalal al-Mahfoudh and Ghazi Al Rahmah called for Northern Governorate constituencies to receive a “fair share” of Budget allotments.
Policing & regional security
Terrorism: During mid-February Al-Dossary was part of a delegation that attended a counter-terrorism conference in Geneva.
Rights & freedoms
National Action Charter: On the 14 February anniversary of the 2001 Constitution Referendum, a joint statement from deputies Jalal Al-Mahfoudh, 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”.
Rape: Regarding the Legal Committee’s discussion of Penal Code amendment concerning rape on 27 May, Al-Dossary told the GDN: “The whole idea of rape is despicable and can you imagine if the victim is a teenager then she will be dead even if she appears alive?… Does anyone want her to get married to the person who robbed her of the preciousness of enjoying life and turned her into a lifeless body? A 10-year jail sentence is merciful, so we want the maximum punishment to be between 15 years and life in prison”.
Youth, culture & sport
Grand Prix: Al-Dossary and Jalal al-Mahfoudh on 20 April issued a joint statement praising the F1 and the positive impact on Bahrain’s international reputation.
Parliament role & constituent engagement
Constituents: On 13 March Al-Dossary stressed the importance of close interaction with constituents and parliamentary action on issues that affected the public.
Government: Al-Dossary and Al-Mahfoudh on 27 April issued a joint statement stressing the urgency of cooperation between the executive and legislative branches for achieving the aspirations of citizens, “especially after the increase in complaints and requests from people who expressed their outrage at the lack of response of some official bodies… in addressing the issues and problems raised by citizens”.
Chairman of Parliament: Al-Dossary and Jalal al-Mahfoudh on 28 May issued a joint statement stressing the central role of the Parliament Chairman in focusing the role of Parliament and ensuring the national interest. They stressed the importance of emphasizing national unity. This statement is possibly in response to attacks made against the Chairman of Parliament and his Deputy by the Salafist society Al-Asalah in response to a discussion held by the Parliament Bureau reportedly concerning possible compensation for some of those adversely affected by the 2011 unrest.
- Standards of living, health & education – 6
- Housing & services – 7
- Policing & regional security – 4
- Good governance & public finance – 3
- Economy & employment – 5
- Supporting constituents & youth – 5
- Rights & freedoms – 5
- Constructive Parliament role – 4
- Public visibility – 4
- Progressive/reformist credentials – 6
Results of 2014 elections – 3rd Northern
Areas covered: Northern strip of west coast; Budayya, Haniniyah, Jasra, Hamala, Um Sabiyan, Um Na’san, Jiddah
Housing blocks: 550, 552, 553, 555, 557, 559, 561, 565, 569, 587, 581, 585, 589, 591, 1001, 1002, 1003, 1004, 1006, 1009, 1010, 1089, 1095
Registered voters: 6,082; Percentage 1st round voter turnout: 64.4%
First round vote:
Hassan al-Dossary (MP) – 1437 (38.0%); Hamad al-Dossary – 1086 (28.7%); Adel al-Dossary – 697 (18.4%); Firas Nouruddin – 493 (13.0%); Mamdouh Marhoun – 35; Abdulaziz al-Dhawadi 34
Second round vote:
Hamad al-Dossary – 1984 (58.6%)
Hassan al-Dossary (MP) – 1404 (47.4%)
Profile of election campaign: Hamad Salim Ali Eid al-Dossary
Hamad al-Dossary only came second in the first round with only 1,086 votes, compared to his rival, standing MP Hassan al-Dossary. However, local constituents clearly rallied against the incumbent MP in the second round, securing Hamad’s seat in Parliament with nearly 60% of the vote.
There had been widespread local dissatisfaction of a perceived failure by local MP Hassan al-Dossary to use his position on the parliamentary housing committee to advocate local interests in addressing housing provision. This dissatisfaction may help explain the relatively low first round turnout in this Sunni loyalist area, at only 64% – despite efforts by candidates to engage people in the process.
One symptom of this frustration was two other figures from the Dossary tribe coming out against Hassan. This includes former member of Hassan’s campaign team – Hamad al-Dossary – who has used his elections experience and his relatively young age to seek to engage the youth demographic.
As a pro-youth candidate, Hamad has emerged as perhaps one of the most recognizable new faces of the 2014 Bahrain elections, gaining plenty of media coverage. He has been active through the social media and engaging widely with the local public.
Hamad is campaigning under the slogan “National partnership… national responsibility”, with an emphasis on improving standards of living. He stresses that “the youth is the most important tool for change”, calling for voters to back younger candidates. Hamad said that his agenda included action to stamp out corruption and outdated standards of administration.
This area encompasses many of the Sunni/loyalist localities along the north of Bahrain’s west coast, like Budaya, Hamala and Jasra. Despite being one of the largest Northern constituencies in geographical size, 3rd Northern has only 6,082 registered voters.
In these intimate and traditional communities, the contest is as much about personal and tribal connections as it is about policies, which makes this a more difficult district to predict. Given these facts, it is significant that the top three performing candidates all hailed from the Dossary tribe.
Know your deputy: Profiles of other Bahrain MPs
Adel al-Asoumi – 1st Capital
Ahmed Qaratah – 2nd Capital
Adel Bin-Hamid Abdulhussain – 3rd Capital
Deputy-Head of Parliamentary Human Rights Committee
Abdulrahman Bumjaid – 4th Capital
Nasser al-Qaseer – 5th Capital
Deputy Head of the Permanent Committee for Financial and Economic Matters
Ali al-Atish – 6th Capital
Osamah al-Khajah – 7th Capital
Shaikh Majid al-Asfour – 8th Capital
Mohammed Jaffar Milad – 9th Capital
Nabil al-Balooshi – 10th Capital
Ali Bufarsan – 1st Muharraq
Head of Committee for Youth and Sports
Ibrahim al-Hammadi – 2nd Muharraq
Jamal Buhassan – 3rd Muharraq
Isa al-Kooheji – 4th Muharraq
Head of the Permanent Committee for Financial and Economic Matters
Mohammed al-Jowder – 5th Muharraq
Abbas al-Madhi – 6th Muharraq
Ali al-Muqla – 7th Muharraq
Abdulrahman Bu-Ali – 8th Muharraq
Fatimah al-Asfour – 1st Northern
Deputy Head of the Committee for Women and Children
Jalal Kadhim al-Mahfoudh – 2nd Northern
Deputy Head of Committee for Youth and Sports
Hamad al-Dossary – 3rd Northern
Ghazi Al Rahmah – 4th Northern
Deputy Head of Permanent Committee for Public Utilities and Environment
Ali al-Aradi – 5th Northern
Deputy Head of Parliament
Rua al-Haiki – 6th Northern
Shaikh Majid al-Majid – 7th Northern
Head of the Permanent Committee for Shari’ah and Legal Matters
Dr. Isa Turki – 8th Northern
Abdulhamid Abdulhussain al-Najjar – 9th Northern
Deputy Head of Committee for Supporting the Palestinian People
Mohammed al-Ammadi – 10th Northern
Head of Committee for Supporting the Palestinian People
Jamal Dawoud – 11th Northern
Head of Permanent Committee for Public Utilities and Environment
Jamila al-Sammak – 12th Northern
Head of the Committee for Women and Children
Khalid al-Shaer – 1st Southern
Head of Parliamentary Human Rights Committee
Mohammed al-Ahmed – 2nd Southern
Abdulhalim Murad – 3rd Southern
Second Deputy Head of Parliament
Mohammed al-Maarifi – 4th Southern
Deputy Head of the Permanent Committee for Services
Khalifa al-Ghanim – 5th Southern
Anas Buhindi – 6th Southern
Deputy Head of the Permanent Committee for Shari’ah and Legal Matters
Abdullah Bin-Huwail – 7th Southern
Head of the Permanent Committee for Foreign, Defence and National Security Affairs
Dhiyab al-Noaimi – 8th Southern
Mohsin al-Bakri – 9th Southern
Ahmed al-Mulla – 10th Southern
Head of Parliament