New Duo in Bahrain Rule with End of Khalifa bin Salman Era
2020-02-14 - 3:58 am
Bahrain Mirror (Exclusive): The country is moving from one difficult stage to another. It is in the stage of tightening the grip on all positions of power after removing everyone from their posts, including the removal of the PM's wing in favor of the King's wing, his sons and the Khawalid heads only.
The three Khawalids in the foreground are Court Minister Khalid bin Ahmed, his brother the military commander Khalifa bin Ahmed, and Ahmed Atiyatallah, their cousin.
The King issued royal order No. 8 for 2020 to establish and form a high executive committee of the Defense Council. This committee is chaired by Crown Prince and Deputy Commander-in-Chief Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, and the national security advisor Nasser bin Hamad Al Khalifa is the committee's rapporteur. Minister of the Royal Court Khalid bin Ahmed Al Khalifa, his brother Field Marshal Khalifa bin Ahmed Al Khalifa, who is the commander-in-chief of the Bahrain Defense Force, and Interior Minister Rashid bin Abdullah Al Khalifa, Minister of Follow-up at the Royal Court Ahmed bin Atiyatallah Al Khalifa, and Minister of Finance and National Economy Salman bin Khalifa Al Khalifa were appointed to the committee.
It appears that the names of the Prime Minister Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa, any of his sons, grandchildren or anyone linked to him are missing from the Committee. Since the Prime Minister left the country in November 2019 for medical treatment in Germany, there have been many changes and appointments.
The composition of the committee seems to be the clearest manifestation of an internal conflict within the ruling family, as it serves as a mini-security government which operates under the supervision of the King, and is responsible for implementing the decisions of the Supreme Defense Council, carrying out the tasks assigned to it by the King, the supreme commander, and expressing opinion on the matters referred to it. It includes two of the King's sons, as well as the Interior Minister and the Minister of Finance, along with the three Khawalids.
The establishment of the committee comes among frequent signs pointing to the end of the era of Khalifa bin Salman and his entourage, and the rise of the state of Hamad bin Isa with a purely security doctrine where there is no place for politics and management, only power and subjugation, and the monopoly of power and wealth in the hands of the smallest circle possible, and then distribution to all as dictated by the interests of the ruling family members, who do not pay taxes or bills, but rather receive monthly and periodic allowances and gifts, which ensure that its members remain in the highest class.
Now, all the high and critical positions are confined to the hands of the King and his sons and the spearhead of the new wing who won his battles. The two sons of the field marshal assumed high positions, one became minister of oil, and the second became the head of Batelco, the most important local telecommunications company with profitable external branches. Nayef, the son of the minister of the royal court, was recently appointed chairman of the Council of Tenders.
The most important ministries and bodies are the interior, foreign, national security, finance and the defense ministries, as well as the economic development council, Mumtalakat (sovereign fund), tenders council, new mini-committee of the supreme defense council, in adition to the oil, communications and aviation companies. All of them have fallen under a new dual rule: The King, his sons and the new wing that was formed that includes all areas and has removed its predecessor.
Prime Minister Khalifa bin Salman's position is only nominal now, and his son Ali is one of his four deputies, but he is completely marginalized and ineffective. The position of southern governorate head is in his grandson's hand, and the Interior Ministry's agency for citizenship and residence affairs is in the hands of his son-in-law Rashid bin Khalifa Al Khalifa, but the King has rejected all attempts to give this post to one of Rashid's sons.