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Ebrahim Sharif : The opposition’s role and the importance of criticism
Categary : إبراهيم شريف

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ابراهيم السيد 2016-02-22 00:41:06




 

 

(1) The charge of “inciting hatred and contempt against the regime” brings us to the importance of criticism in order to achieve reform and the role of opposition in such a process. Criticism and highlighting risks and problems in society are at the core of what the opposition does in any democratic country. There is a political and social crisis here in Bahrain that security measures could not resolve, and in fact whose counter effects have continued since 2011 because the authority did not address the causes and did not implement the most important recommendations of the fact-finding committee (BICI). Add to this the economic crisis that we face today with the collapse of oil prices, which will cause deficits up to $5 billion a year, topping the mountains of existing government debt and pension fund actuarial deficits.

 

 

Today, we inch closer to the post-oil era without having properly prepared for it despite seven years of budget surpluses and fiscal revenue hikes. It is our job in the opposition to caution against this dangerous situation, to call for national reconciliation and a real comprehensive reform, understanding and recognizing the future risks that this situation could provoke. This was the core of the speech that the Prosecution and the Criminal Investigation Department had misinterpreted, considering it a threat against the regime instead of the political and economic assessment that it is. This was a speech about prevention, not revolution.

 

 

(2)The opposition cannot respect itself if it stays silent against the government’s catastrophic mistakes, the even further restrictions on our people’s freedoms, and the absence of justice and equal citizenship for all. Just as the government has the right to shed light on its accomplishments, the opposition has the same right to shed light on those political aspects that the government had left in the dark. It has the right to shed light on those dark corners neglected by the state media and loyalists who deliberately mask the government’s errors and failures. If the government continues to chase after and imprison such social beacons and whistle-blowers, then we are bound to wither through some dark years akin to those years when the constitution was suspended and the State Security Law dominated all - as if the National Action Charter never existed.  

 

 
 
 
 
 

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ابراهيم السيد

 
 
 

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