New Bahraini cabinet includes ex-opposition activist
Bahrain's king, Sheikh Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, appointed for the first time Monday a former opposition exile to a Cabinet post in a reshuffle following last month's legislative elections.
The king's uncle, Sheik Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa, was reappointed prime minister. Major portfolios — oil, defense, interior, foreign affairs, finance and information — remained unchanged. For the first time, two deputy prime ministers were appointed, including Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Mubarak.
According to AP, Majid al-Alawi, a member of Bahrain's Shiite Muslim majority and former exile in London, became the minister of labor and social affairs.
Al-Alawi was an opposition activist in London until he returned home following a 1999 amnesty for opposition figures announced by the Bahraini monarch. Also for the first time, a Shiite Muslim was given justice portfolio — Jawad al-Arrayed was former municipality minister.
In other changes, the Cabinet merged the Housing Ministry with the Ministry of Works and Municipal Affairs. The Bahraini leader also appointed his economic adviser, Hassan Fakhro, minister of industry. (Albawaba.com)
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