Bahrain’s King Hamad bin Isa al- Khalifa sacked four ministers, an attempt could be seen as a gesture of goodwill during protests.
Issuing Royal Decree 14 for 2011, the ministries affected were Cabinet Affairs, Housing, Health and Electricity.
According to Bahraini state news agency, BNA, “Dr. Majeed bin Mohsen Al Alawi and Dr. Abdul Hussain bin Ali Mirza have been appointed as ministers of housing and energy respectively. Dr. Nazar Al Baharna takes over as health minister while Jameel bin Mohammed Humaidan has been promoted to the position of labour minister in the new-look government. HM the King has also appointed Kamal Ahmed as Cabinet Affairs Minister, while the newly-appointed Energy Minister Dr. Miza will also be in charge of oil, electricity and water affairs.”
According to ILNA, the shake-up could be an attempt to appease the Shiite opposition in the tiny Gulf nation ruled by the Sunni Muslim al- Khalifa family where the majority Shiite population says they are facing discrimination in jobs and other services.
“The march of development and reform momentum is continuing unabatedly, armed with a strong will and a high morale, and in cooperation with all sections of Bahrain people”, The King said, as reported by BNA, as well as urging the new team to upgrade services, improve living standards, citing health facilities, housing projects and educational schemes.
According to BNA, the King ordered the newly-appointed housing minister to slash the monthly installments by 25 per cent. The Royal initiative will benefit 35, 878 Bahraini families. The minister has also been instructed to speed up programmes and plans for the coming housing projects to meet people’s needs and ensure them decent housing across Bahrain
Earlier this week the Bahraini government released more than 300 people detained since a crackdown on Shi’ite unrest in August.