Minister: Bahrain to Hold Municipal Elections Soon
Bahrainis will soon help run the areas they live in through elected municipal councils, according to Minister of State for Municipalities and Environment Jawad Al Arrayed.
This will give them a say in everything from schools to street lights, the minister told the Gulf Daily News.
Plans for elected municipal councils were first announced by Emir Sheikh Hamad Al Khalifa in his National Day speech in December 1999.
Now details are being drawn up for such councils, to look after different areas of Bahrain, said the minister.
"This will mean that each council will be an autonomous body undertaking development projects for areas under its authority," he told the paper.
"However, the councils will be acting within the overall framework of the state policies."
The emir has given directives to develop the country's municipal councils.
Plans to give citizens a bigger say in the running of municipal affairs were also discussed at last week's cabinet session, chaired by Crown Prince Sheikh Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa.
The meeting reviewed a number of clauses of the Municipal Council draft law.
Sheikh Salman asked the national committee to continue its work of developing the municipalities system, said the paper.
He later issued an edict appointing Arrayed as a member of the committee.
"The improvement to the draft law is aimed at affirming people's participation in administration through an elected municipal council," said Arrayed.
"Under the proposal, each council will be responsible for services like education, roads, street lighting and infrastructure development, within the framework of state policies.
"By widening the activities of the council, people will become more responsible for their own affairs."
Arrayed said the councils would also look into shared programs.
"Such programs can be tailor-made to suit the requirements of each region and needs of the citizens," he said – Albawaba.com
© 2001 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)
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