National Charter


This charter,

Following the concordance of the government and the people on its contents, Considering that it represents a document for future action in the country, Considering that the implementation of some of the essential ideas included shall require constitutional amendments, stipulates the following:

1. Appelation of Bahrain:

The constitutional amendment will stipulate the official name of the State of Bahrain in accordance with the format decided by the Amir and his people.

2. The Legislative Branch:

The text of Chapter 2 of Article 4 of the Constitution on the legislative branch shall be amended to suit the international democratic and constitutional developments through the creation of two councils. The first council will be elected directly and freely by the citizens and will have legislative attributes. The second council will be appointed and will include experts and competent citizens who will offer advice and knowledge as requested by the Shura. Laws will be issued as stipulated by the Constitution and according to constitutional systems and traditions used by long-standing democracies.

The popular concordance on this charter is a manifestation of the popular desire to achieve a stable and prosperous future for Bahrain under the leadership of His Highness the Amir, Shaikh Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa.

Chapter one

  • The State strives to consolidate the rights of women and to issue necessary legislation to protect the families.

  • Personal freedoms are guaranteed in accordance with the law. No person shall be arrested, detained, imprisoned, searched, confined to a residence, or have his freedom of residence or movements impounded, except in accordance with the law and under the supervision of the judiciary.

It is not possible for any society to achieve a high level of stabilisation throughout the centuries, and to succeed in building up a distinguished civilisation the way Bahrain has done, without possessing a set of essential values that warrant its cohesion, move it forward, strive for its promotion, and consolidate its state, and which can be drawn from Islam, the tolerant religion of the people of Bahrain, and from its Arab identity.

The Bahraini society has agreed on a set of essential components that are highly concordant with the Arab and Islamic values.

These values that we must adhere to, preserve, and defend because they are the selection of the various sections of the society with their different backgrounds, were promoted by our forefathers who were keen on establishing and maintaining a virtuous society. Hence, and for the sake of the interests of the State and of the society, no public authority or citizen may transgress the essential components, which can be summoned as follows:

1. Objectives of the Rule and its Foundations:

The objective of the Rule is to maintain the State, promote its status, preserve national unity and achieve constant and comprehensive development in the areas of politics, economy, society, culture, and others. Justice is the basis of the Rule. Equality, sovereignty of the law, freedom, security, tranquillity, science, social solidarity and equality of opportunities for all citizens are the pillars of the society that the State must guarantee.

These fine values strongly upheld by the Amir, government and people of Bahrain for the sake of the future, have been the bases of the Rule for the past years, which has also been consolidated by the values of compassion, co-operation and intercommunication between the ruler and the people. Hence the value of justice has maintained its glory and splendour and has thrived in Bahrain amid respect and care alongside the value of compassion and affection.

2.Guaranteeing Personal freedom and Equality:

Personal freedoms are guaranteed, and equality between citizens, justice and equality of opportunities are essential pillars of the society. The State has to guarantee the rights of all citizens, with no discrimination, within a wider and more comprehensive principle: equality of human dignity between all people. This principle was sanctified by Islam fourteen centuries ago, and in his Last Sermon, Prophet Mohammed (Peace be upon him) said that people were equal like the teeth of a comb, and that an Arab has no superiority over a non-Arab and a white has no superiority over a black except by piety and good action.

This wonderful Islamic and humane principle has led to a set of related principles that are also considered among its essential components.

They are:

1. All citizens are equal before the law in rights and duties. There is no discrimination between them on the grounds of sex, origin, language, religion, or creed. This was confirmed by the Amir in his first address to the nation after he assumed power.

2. Personal freedoms are guaranteed according to the law. No person shall be arrested, detained, imprisoned, searched, confined to a residence, or impound his freedom of residence or movements, except in accordance with the law and under the supervision of the judiciary.

3. No person shall be subject to any kind of moral or physical torture, or to any non-human, derogatory or humiliating treatment, under any circumstances. Any confession or expression uttered under torture, threats or incitement shall be void. No accused shall be morally or physically offended. The law guarantees the punishment of any person guilty of carrying out torture or physical or moral offence.

4. There is no crime or punishment without the application of the law, and there is punishment only according to specific laws.

5. Punishment is personal, and an accused person is innocent until proven guilty by a fair trial where he is endured of access to defence at all the stages of the investigations and the trial according to the law. Every person accused of an offence shall have a lawyer of whom he approves to defend his case. Prosecution is guaranteed in accordance with the law.

6. Residences have their sanctity, and they shall not be entered or searched except (a) by permission from the residents or (b) in highly special cases, stipulated by the law, and under the supervision of judicial authorities.

7. Personal correspondences have their sanctity and secrecy. Postal, telegraphic, telephonic and electronic communications are sacred, and shall not be subject to monitoring or search, except in highly exceptional cases stipulated by the law under the supervision of judicial authorities.

3. Freedom of Creed:

The State guarantees the freedom of creed. The freedom of conscience is absolute. The State maintains the sanctity of the places of worship, and guarantees the freedom to hold religious rites in accordance with the traditions prevailing in the country.

4. Freedom of Expression and Publication:

Every citizen has the right to express his opinions or personal creativity verbally, in writing or by any means of expression. Based on this principle, the freedom of scientific research, publishing, press and printing is guaranteed within the limits stipulated by the law.

5. Activities of the Civilian Society:

In order for the society to benefit from all potentials and from civilian activities, the State guarantees the right to set up private, scientific, cultural, and vocational associations and syndicates on patriotic bases, for legal purposes and through peaceful means in accordance with conditions and situation stated by the law. No person shall be co-erced into joining, or remaining in, an association or a syndicate.

6. The family is the Basis of Society:

Based on the belief that the family is the essential component of society, and that through proper families, the bonds of society are strengthened and the values of religion, morals and patriotism are reinforced, the State maintains the legal entity of the family, protects motherhood and childhood, looks after children, protects them from exploitation, and avoids them moral, physical and spiritual loss . The State particularly looks after the physical, moral and cognitive growth of the youth.

Within this context, the State warrants the achievement of the natisolidarity needed by old people, incapacitated citizens, orphans, widows and the unemployed. The State provides them with social security and health care, and looks after health policies that reinforces the objectives of health for all.

The State guarantees the solidarity of the people in assuming the burdens resulting from catastrophes and general calamities. It also warrants the compensation for people injured during the war or while assuming their national military duties.

The State strives to consolidate the rights of women and to issue necessary legislation to protect the families.

7. Work is a Duty and a Right:

Work is a duty for every citizen. It is required by human dignity and needed by the general welfare. Every citizen has the right to work and to choose his work according to the general system and to the morals.

The State guarantees the provision of employment opportunities to all citizens and the fairness of its conditions within the programmes of national economy development, and taking into consideration that no person shall be coerced into taking up an employment except in the cases stipulated by the law for a national necessity at a fair pay.

The law regulates relations between employees and employers on the basis of the economy and taking into consideration social justice.

8. Education, culture and Sciences:

The State looks after sciences, literature and arts, promotes scientific research, and guarantees educational and cultural services for the citizens. Education is compulsory and free in the primary stages as defined and explained by the law. The law formulates plans to eradicate illiteracy, and regulates the manner for looking after religious education at all stages and in all types of learning. It also encourages civil education, strengthening the personalities of the citizens and bolstering their pride of their national unity and Arab nationalism.

Universities are considered as beacons of intellectual radiance and scientific progress, which necessitates providing them with academic freedom and guaranteeing the exercise of such freedom and the fostering of knowledge. The State strives for bolstering private education and the establishment of private universities and institutes.

It also supports the institutions of scientific and technological research and encourages strong links between education and the labour market to meet the requirements of the country in terms of qualified human resources for the present and the future.

Chapter two

System of Constitutional monarchy

Throughout the centuries of the rule of the Ruling Family, society of Bahrain has enjoyed a special relationship between the ruler and the people based upon direct contact and intercommunication and common understanding in the service of the citizens and the country. Within this context, the people have agreed that the rule in Bahrain should be based on the following:

1. The Amir:

The ruling system in Bahrain is hereditary constitutional monarchy as stipulated by the Constitution and by the Amiri decree on succession. The Amir is the head of the state, and his person is safeguarded and cannot be harmed ; he is the Supreme Commander of the armed forces, the symbol of the stability of the state, and the main pillar of the ruling system in Bahrain.

The Amir exercises his authority through his ministers who are answerable to him; he appoints the Prime Minister and the ministers and removes them, in accordance with the powers vested in him by the Constitution.

2. The Constitutional format of the State:

Subsequent to the stability bestowed by God on Bahrain, to the achievements it has accomplished and to the challenges it has successfully confronted, and after it has reached maturity levels both in its international relations and within its sovereign institutions based upon equality between citizens and consideration about their independence and national unity, time has now come for Bahrain to be among the constitutional monarchies with a democratic system that achieves the aspirations of its people for a better future.

3. Islamic Jurisprudence and Legislation:

Islam is the religion of the state and the Islamic jurisprudence is a principal for legislation.

4. The People are the Source of all Powers:

The system of ruling in Bahrain is democratic, whereby sovereignty is by the people who are the source of all powers. The exercise of the sovereignty is as stipulated by the Constitution.

5. The Principle of Separation Between the Branches:

The system of ruling is based, as consecrated by the democracy principle, on the separation between the three branches: legislative, executive and judiciary, which nevertheless co-operate between themselves in accordance with the Constitution. The Amir is the head of the three branches.

6. Sovereignty of the Law, Independence of the Judiciary:

The sovereignty of the law is the basis of ruling in the State, and the independence and the immunity of the judiciary are two essential warranties to protect rights and liberties. The State is entrusted with completing the judiciary commissions stipulated by the Constitution and with appointing the judicial authorities that have jurisdiction over disputes on the constitutionality of the laws and regulations, and the general prosecution.

7. The Right of the People to Take Part in Public Affairs:

All citizens, males and females, have the right to take part in public affairs and to enjoy political rights in the country, starting with the voting and candidacy rights in accordance with the law.

Chapter three

Great strides made despite hardships

Bahrain considers that its greatest assets are the Bahraini citizens
who have proven their outstanding capabilities in the areas of science and culture.

The Economic Foundations of Society:

In spite of the limited natural resources, the scarcity of water, the limited size of the land and the high population density, Bahrain has succeeded in making great strides in developing its economy and in raising the average income of its people. The achievement, mainly the result of the wise policy of its leaders and government to rationalise and use efficiently the country’s potential, has enabled Bahrain to reach advanced standards in human resources development and economic freedom. However, there is a necessity to adopt policies that will lead to a balance between the average economic growth and the average international population growth. The Charter affirms the adherence of Bahrain to the following economic principles:

1. The Principle of Economic Freedom:

The economic system of Bahrain is based upon individual initiatives and the freedom to invest and move capitals, with support to, and emphasis on, the role of the private sector in promoting resources and activating the economy. This system has resulted in tangible economic and investment activities, and has generated a flow of capitals for investment in the country.

The economic openness must be accompanied by a change in the general management towards easing procedures, transparency, the elimination of overlapping in responsibilities, the improvement of services, and the modernisation of economic legislation, all of which must be governed by the principles of honesty and the equality of opportunities.

In order to ensure the activation of the means of financial and administrative control and the increase of work transparency in all state institutions, the establishment of an office for financial control and an office for administrative control have become necessary.

2. Private Property:

Private property is guaranteed, and every person has the right to dispose of his properties within the confines of the law. No private property shall be expropriated except for public use, within the confines and manners stipulated by the law and with a fair compensation.

3. Economic Justice and Balance in Contracts:

Private property, capitals and employment are individual rights of a social nature. The law regulates their exercise on the basis of the economy and social justice, and warrants the balance between the production sources,and the balance in contract relations.

4. Diversification of Economic Activities and National Income Sources:

Bahrain was among the first members of the Gulf Co-operation Council that have sought to diversify their economic activities and national income sources, based on the necessity not to depend on a single source of income, and in order to provide dignified ways of living for future generations and to avoid international economic turbulence.

Bahrain has thus become an important regional financial centre, and an internationally-recognised tourist attraction. It has also, through providing support to transformational industries, high added value industries, information and services in general, contributed to promoting an economic development basis in the country and to offering employment opportunities to citizens.

5. Environment and Wildlife:

Due to the increasing pressure on its limited natural resources, Bahrain is keen on both achieving the best exploitation of its natural resources and the non-harmful development of the environment and the health of the citizens. It also takes into consideration the international orientations in preventing and solving the major environment problems through adopting a national strategy to protect the environment and through taking all adequate legislative measures to limit pollution whatever the sources, to provide facilities for industrial companies to help them to transfer to cleaner production, and to carry out assessment studies before implementing projects.

The State of Bahrain also protects wildlife, particularly its distinguishing natural sanctuaries, including its fauna and flora, through drawing up the necessary plans to utilise the lands, manage the coastal areas and set up a group of animal sanctuaries such as Al Areen, and Hawar Islands and the waters surrounding them, and which have achieved international fame for the rare animals and birds they host.

6. Public Funds and Natural Resources:

Public funds are sacred, and every citizen has a duty to protect them. Public authorities have to take all measures to safeguard them. All natural wealth and resources are the property of the State which strives to safeguard them and to select the most appropriate economic ways to invest them.

7. Labour and Training:

Bahrain considers that its greatest assets are the Bahraini citizens who have proven their outstanding capabilities in the areas of science and culture.

Extending support to the citizens through constant and transformational training will provide the labour market with new and qualified people, which will offer ample employment opportunities to the citizens.

Chapter four

BDF main pillar of national security


National security is the shield that protects the country, safeguards its territories, preserves its political, social and economic achievements and reinforces its comprehensive development progress, particularly in ever-changing modern regional and international conditions.

One of the pillars of the national security is the consolidation and support to the Bahrain Defence Force to enable it to carry out its missions and duties in the best manner.

It also necessitates the provision of all security forces with the equipment and essential components to carry out their missions of spreading security and tranquillity all over the country and of preserving peace and public security.

It also requires supporting and reinforcing the National Guard to assume its role within the defence and security system, as a military depth for the Bahrain Defence Force and a security shield for the public security forces in defending the country.

Such a disposition consolidates the development progress witnessed by the country, safeguards its civilisational achievements and protects every inch of its lands, waters and skies.

It also strengthens the fact that being member of the national security bodies is both a duty and an honour for every citizen.

The Bahrain Defence Force is a symbol of national unity, a supporter to brothers and to the Nation to guarantee security and stability not only in our country, but also in the Gulf and in the Arab world.

The civilisational heritage of Bahrain makes its Defence Force a school that defends each of its original values: good morals, construction and civilisation. It is, as was intended from the beginning, a message of goodness and peace from Bahrain to the whole world, an expression of the values that we are all honoured to defend.

One of the reasons for profound trust in this national institution is that its Supreme Commander was its first soldier and its founder since the launch of the “First Light”.

The procurement of advanced weaponry and the possession of the most modern security and defence systems in a world characterised by overwhelmingly fast technological and scientific revolutions and a wide spectrum of security threats, become absolute necessities.

The availability of the qualified human resources that will use the equipment is as important as the provision of the weaponry and modern defence systems.

The policies of preparing the competent human resources and looking after the affairs of the BDF personnel become necessary elements in achieving and protecting peace in Bahrain.

Striving to improve the fighting, administrative and technical capabilities of the BDF through training and organisation to reach the highest possible standards is an absolute priority.

The achievement of the BDF objectives should not be eliminated from the overall need to possess a clear defence policy, consolidated by detailed programmes to attain these objectives.

Thus, it is necessary to carry out regular and constant assessments to ameliorate the strategic vision and the technological adaptation and to define the sources of threats.

Chapter five

Focus on direct democracy

Parliamentary Life

Bahrain has known direct democracy since the Al Khalifa Family assumed power. The constant consultations between the ruler and the people, and the open-door policy, which has always been the way of dealing between the Government and the people of the State of Bahrain, have resulted in making the people’s desires and interests the basis of the policies of governance.

The Government was and still is keen on feeling the pulse of the society, and on striving diligently to serve the interests of the people.

This principle consecrated the democratic practice in the State of Bahrain which was later embodied in the constitution and in the elected national council.

The experience of the Shura Council which came later proved its trustworthiness in debating, studying and expressing opinions on all general issues and problems that concerned the State and served the interests of the people. The Shura Council demonstrated a remarkable power to confront the latest developments with the required flexibility, setting up an outstanding example of co-operation with the Government to serve the country.

The development of the democratic practice should know no limits as long as there are ample opportunities to achieve further democracy.

Many long-standing democracies have adopted the system of two councils. Their legislative councils include two councils. The first council represents the trends and thoughts of the people on contemporary issues, and the second council operates as a council for competent and experienced members. Experiences in these democratic countries have demonstrated the excellent political benefits and advantages of the bicameral legislative system, which explains its strong standing.

In order to increase popular participation in public affairs, and inspired by the principle of shura, which is one of the genuine principles of Islam upon which the ruling system in the State of Bahrain is based and out of belief in the rights and duties of all the people in practicing their constitutional political rights, and following the example set by long standing democracies, it has become in the best interest of the State of Bahrain to have two separate councils representing the legislative branch. The first council shall be fthrough direct and free elections and shall have legislative attributes. The second council shall be appointed and shall comprise people of experience and competence who will offer their advice and knowledge when needed.

This balanced combination within the legislative branch possesses the distinctive feature of presenting advantages that offer a number of privileges, allowing popular participation in legislative affairs, and enabling interaction between the various opinions and trends within a unified legislative council.

The suggested formation of the legislative council which shall require a constitutional amendment, will allow it to derive wisdom and knowledge from one side, and the main orientations of the Bahraini voter from the other side.

The amendment shall, without any doubt, lead to bolstering a democracy that works for construction, development, stability and prosperity, a democracy that strives for social peace and national unity.

Chapter six

Bahrain shall strive for GCC consolidation

The people and the government of Bahrain deeply believe in the common objectives and destiny of the people of the Gulf Co-operation Council countries.

Blood and family bonds that brought together the people of the Gulf, were reinforced by common history and culture and similar traditions. These reasons constituted motives for the State of Bahrain to be among the founders of the GCC, alongside its sister Arab Gulf States.

Genuine co-operation between the GCC countries is vital to preserve their high interests and to achieve the highest standards of development. Within this framework, the GCC was able to prove to the world its capability of defending the freedom and sovereignty of its members, and its validity as the protective shield for their independence.

Therefore, the State of Bahrain shall always seek with its full power and capabilities, to consolidate the GCC and to support the just causes of its member states.

The State of Bahrain considers this stance a constant value of its essential, necessary and vital policy, particularly that the security and prosperity of Bahrain is an intrinsic part of the security and welfare of the other sister GCC states. The State of Bahrain shall continue to strive with its sister members of the Council to accomplish more coordination, closeness and complementarily within the frame of the Council, particularly in the areas that need more active coordination such as economic complementarity, defence co-operation and information co-ordination. Moreover, the improvement of the participation of popular commissions within the Council institutions shall receive more consideration.

Chapter seven

Justifiably proud of Arab identity

The State of Bahrain is particularly proud of its Arab identity and of the fact that its people are an integral part of the Arab nation and its territories are part of the Arab world. This Arab dimension is embodied not only in the linguistic, religious and cultural unity, but also in the common history, hopes and grievances of the Arab nation.

Based on this reality, the State of Bahrain is always prone to consolidate Arab co-operation. Since the dawn of independence, the State of Bahrain has become an efficient member of the Arab League and has been working alongside its sister Arab states to activate the role of the Arab League so that it remains a political and legal framework that reflects the unity of the Arab nation, strives for the complementarity of the common Arab action, and imposes its willpower. The State of Bahrain affirms its support to all forms of common Arab economic co-operation.

One of the deep rooted values of the policies of the State of Bahrain is its keenness to support all Arab causes. The State of Bahrain commits itself to shoulder its sister Arab states in their crucial causes. In this respect, the State of Bahrain stands by and asserts the legal rights of the Palestinians, particularly their right to establish their own independent state with Jerusalem as its capital. The State of Bahrain equally stresses the necessity of the return of the refugees and the respect of all Arab rights in accordance with international legitimacy.

Within the framework of the Islamic Conference Organisation, and based on the deep rooted belief in the righteous Islamic values, the State of Bahrain considers co-operation between the member states highly important in order to support national independence causes and the right of the people for self-determination and to achieve the highest standards of development by member states. The State of Bahrain hopes that the Islamic Conference Organisation achieves further efficiency and prosperity.

Regarding international political relations, the State of Bahconsiders regional and world peace a principal strategic objective that requires a combination of all efforts. Accordingly, the State of Bahrain upholds the basic principles that call for the need to settle all international disputes through peaceful means and that ban the use of force to seize lands or harm the political independence of any country. The State of Bahrain encourages and supports all international efforts to settle regional disputes peacefully.

Ever since it joined the United Nations Organisation, the State of Bahrain has participated in all United Nations activities by taking part in its resolutions, hosting its agencies, signing its international agreements and conventions, particularly the ones related to human rights, civil, political and social rights of citizens and women’s rights. The State of Bahrain has also played a positive role in the specialised commissions of the United Nations.

The long-standing policy of the State of Bahrain on international economic and trade relations strongly favours international free trade, and the free movement of investments, capital and manpower, taking into consideration the national interests of each state, and affirming that the natural resources of each state are its own property and their management should not be subject to any kind of foreign pressure or intervention.

Final Communique

Charter Draft shall achieve transition

Implementing the Amiri Decrees Number 36 and 43 for the Year 2000 to set up a Supreme National Committee to draft a National Charter,

And based on the grand responsibility assumed by all members of the Committee to fulfil this historic mission,

The National Committee has embarked on its national mission by launching a series of regular sessions at Riffa Palace that included discussions and debates filled with positive ideas, remarks and proposals,

And with the help of God the Almighty and the support of HH the Amir, the Committee was able to achieve the mission it was entrusted with and which it hopes concords with the will of HH the Amir and the aspirations of the loyal people of the State of Bahrain.

Within this context, the Committee affirms that the National Charter draft shall achieve, God willing, an important transition in the national action which shall in turn contribute to making crucial changes in work procedures and performances.

In response by the Committee members with the comprehensive vision of HH Shaikh Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa which HH explained through a democratic drive that fostered direct discussions in meetings with the various national sectors and at several popular rallies, the Committee expresses its profound pride and its complete adherence to the bonds between the leader and the people for the sake of national action, the safeguarding of the civilisational achievements of the country, and full preservation of every inch of the territories of the State of Bahrain.

In view of the modernisation of the powers of the State and its institutions, and with the view to prepare free and direct elections of a Parliamentary council by all citizens, operating alongside an appointed council that will include the most competent and experienced people, which will lead to amendments of the Constitution and the modernisation of institutions according to a balanced formula that draws on the experiences of the past and confronts the challenges of the future, the Committee affirms its full support to making the decisions that will enable Bahrain to continue its inexorable progress towards the future it aspires to have.

The Committee equally affirms that the State of Bahrain after accomplishing great steps towards comprehensive development in spite of the wars and crises that afflicted the region, was able, thanks to its determination and willpower, to continue the construction and prosperity process to reach a deserved status among advanced constitutional monarchies.

Asserting and documenting the complete concordance between the vision of HH the Amir and the aspirations of the people of Bahrain, the Committee has decided, in its final session, to present this National Charter as a document of allegiance to HH the Amir, Shaikh Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, who will take the decisions HH deems best to serve the interests of the State of Bahrain.

Cradle for civilisations, hub for trade

Since the dawn of history, this archipelago has always kept Bahrain in its memory, whether the geographic connotations of that name widened or narrowed. It has been the core of the region, and the cradle of civilisations which all converged on the islands of Bahrain. Delmon had been the meeting point of ancient world. It extended from Mesopotamia to current-day Oman, reaching the civilisation of Al Sind countries, representing a vivid testimony of the economic prosperity of Bahrain as a pioneering trade hub and a vital port for the world since the ancient times of history.

Before the divine religion of Islam was revealed, Bahrain had embraced the freedom of thoughts and doctrines on its territories, presenting a rare and unique example during the past ages. In light of this spiritual and intellectual tolerance, culture flourished and religions co-existed. The Arabic poetry was enriched by the poets of Bahrain who composed the most beautiful poems on contemplations and existence, ushering in a new era of renaissance for the Arabs in history. Bahrain was among the leading countries in responding to the call of Islam, and embraced the righteous religion of Islam peacefully and with a deep conviction. Bahrain was also among the early defenders of Islam.

Bahrain took the call of Islam to new regions on the other banks of the Gulf, reaching the borders of India. Bahrain’s resources and wealth were a major source for the Islamic house of public money (treasury) during the early days of Islam. Since the beginning of the Islamic civilisation, Bahrain’s people greatly contributed to the radiance of Islam, the sciences of jurisprudence and Arabic language throughout the eras of Islamic Caliphates. This people had profoundly understood and upheld the principles of Islamic civilisation, mainly tolerance, justice and piety.

The natural geography had rendered Bahrain a very rich field for human activities, such as agriculture, trade and diving. Due to its very distinguished geographic location and resources, Bahrain became the focal interest of invaders and conquerors throughout the course of time. However, Bahrain’s people bravely defended their land against all greedy forces. During the last quarter of the 18th century, and under the command of Ahmed Al Fateh, Arab forces were able to repel external tyrants, highlighting the courageous resistance and struggle of Bahrain’s people against the various foreign and regional invaders. The country was unified under the Al Khalifa Rule in the regions of Zubara and Bahrain.

The call made by the people of Bahrain, in all their segments and categories, to Shaikh Isa bin Ali Al Khalifa, to assume power and rule the country in order to avoid foreign hegemony, was the first prominent presence of the people’s national willpower in Bahrain. It was the first sign of allegiance in the modern history of Bahrain. The people supported a young ruler who came to power bearing in mind the aspirations towards a national ruling that safeguarded their peace and security for 65 years, which vividly depicted the close cohesion between the people and their leadership. The political and commercial stability formed the era of civilisation that took Bahrain into modern times.

The positive response of Shaikh Isa bin Ali Al Khalifa to the demands for the establishment of a Shura Council was in harmony with the awakened political awareness of the joint national movement between the ruler and the people, despite immense resistance from external forces. Shaikh Hamad bin Isa bin Ali Al Khalifa, the lawful heir apparent, with full support from his people who were in constant cohesion with their leadership, was able to deal realistically with the international conflicts. He could define the path of development and break free of the old traditional norms, ushering the way to the birth of a modern civil society. This was achieved through the enhancement of modern education, the creation of an effective governmental administration capable of contemporary performance, the enforcement of required legislation and laws, as well as the strengthening of the process of development in the wake of the oil industry boom in Bahrain. When Shaikh Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa assumed power in 1942, the country was suffering from World War II and its repercussions on the Gulf region, which caused economic strains and regional and international disorders.

Bahrain was able to overcome the crisis, and pursue the building of the state and modernise its vital institutions and utilities. It also managed to bolster the national unity and cohesion between the leadership and the people, as well as allowing for the participation of citizens in the running of state affairs despite the pressures of external forces. The era of Shaikh Isa bin Salman Al Khalifa was prosperous and full of cultural and political accomplishments. He established the bases of the modern state of Bahrain, set up its institutions, and declared its political independence, which freed the country from foreign greedy allegations.

The stance of Bahrain’s people towards the confirmation of the Arabism and independence of the country under HH’s leadership was historic. It was vividly manifested through the survey made by the United Nations Fact-Finding Committee, which covered all segments of the society. The people unanimously agreed to adhere to Arabism, and expressed allegiance to Shaikh Isa bin Salman Al Khalifa. The response of Shaikh Isa bin Salman Al Khalifa was great. He issued the constitution of the State of Bahrain as an example of the most refined principles of constitution and democracy. Bahrain obtained its full independence during his prosperous era. The country was established on the principles of democracy, the state of institutions, and the sovereignty of law. The decision of Shaikh Isa bin Salman Al Khalifa to launch the constitutional way of life and to hold free elections to establish the National Council according to the constitution, will always be recalled as a prominent landmark in the history of Bahrain.

The support and solidarity that were vividly manifested in Bahrain when His Highness Shaikh Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa assumed power and ruled the country have clearly demonstrated the remarkable level of public cohesion with the leader.

During HH’s era, Bahrain has witnessed the launching of democracy that fulfils the aspirations of the people towards the building of a modern state where security, stability and welfare fully prevail, a state where the constitutional institutions assume their role in achieving the ambitions of the leadership and the aspirations of the people in a community ruled by fair justice and the sovereignty of law. In light of these historic circumstanc, the people look forward with confidence and determination towards a more promising future. A future that is filled with liberty and equality, where justice and consultations are the pillars, and popular participation of all categories of society in the tasks of ruling.

State of Bahrain in Article One, where it states that “It is not permitted to waive its sovereignty or abandon parts of its territories”. The State of Bahrain has exercised its political role as an effective member in the international, Islamic and Arabic communities, and, being one of the founders, has always confirmed its adherence to the entity of the Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC). Bahrain has also underlined its full commitment to the joint action of the member states of the GCC to consolidate cohesion and foster the fulfilment of the aspirations and ambitions of the GCC peoples.

Since the State of Bahrain has since its establishment, managed to lay down the basis of the modern state upon democratic orientations, the state of constitutional institutions and the sovereignty of law,

Since Bahrain has reached high levels of maturity as a country with international relations, and a state with sovereign institutions, based on justice and equality of citizens to safeguard their interests,

Since HH the Amir possesses the ambition to achieve a democratic way of life, laying down a balanced structure that confirms the political constitutional partnership between the people and the Government, the separation between the three main branches, the enhancement of the mechanism of the judiciary branch, and the establishment of the constitutional court, and the offices of financial and administrative controls,

Since as we stand at the threshold of the third millennium, there is the strong willpower to move into a modern state that has completed its political and constitutional frameworks in order to interact with the latest domestic, regional and international latest developments,

Since the outcome of the experience of the State of Bahrain in political and economic action in the last three decades, requires taking into consideration the latest political, economic, social and legislative developments, and to be able to confront all forthcoming challenges alongside future international developments,

It has been decided to consider the national, political and constitutional components in the entity of the state, thereby enhancing the hereditary constitutional monarchy of the ruling system, whereby the monarch of the country serves his people, and represents its independent entity and its aspirations towards prosperity.

There is agreement on the need to modernise the Constitution of the country to benefit from the democracy experiences of other peoples in expanding the circle of popular participation in the tasks of ruling and administration. These experiences have demonstrated that the presence of two councils in the legislative branch allows the combination of the advantages of wisdom and competence of the members of the Shura Council, and the interaction of public opinions from all sides of the elected council.

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