Draft proposal ruled as unconstitutional by top legislative body
A court in Bahrain has rejected a proposed amendment to the country’s constitution that would have banned expatriates from driving.
The Constitutional Court said that Article 20 of the proposed traffic law is “incompliant with the provisions of the constitution,” the state-run Bahrain News Agency reported on Wednesday evening.
The controversial proposal was submitted by the country’s parliament and approved by the Shoura Council in May. If enacted, the law would have meant that any expatriate who did not need to drive unless their jobs required it would have had their licences revoked.
However, the draft legislation was referred to the Constitutional Court by King Hamad last week, amid worries over its potential damage to the business community.
According to the Gulf Daily News, the Indian, Pakistani and Bangladeshi embassies have all expressed concern over the law, while the Bahrain Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI) had also said it would try to block the legislation.
“Article 20 which bans expat driving, strips immigrants of one of the basic human rights - that's the right of movement,” the BCCI said in a statement.