By Joanne Bladd
Members of ruling Al Khalifa family retain all leading positions in cabinet line-up
Bahrain’s King Hamad has named a cabinet following last week’s parliamentary elections that is almost unchanged with just one new minister, state news agency BNA said.
Members of the ruling Al Khalifa family continue to hold the same leading positions, with Prince Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa as prime minister and Sheikh Khaled bin Ahmad Al Khalifa as foreign minister.
Prince Khalifa has held the role of prime minister since the kingdom regained its independence from Britain in 1971.
The reshuffle saw the appointment of former Minister of Justice and Islamic Affairs, Sheikh Khalid Bin Abdullah Al Khalifa, as deputy prime minister – the country’s fourth.
King Hamad also formed a new ministry for public works, which is to be headed by Esam bin Abdullah, the only new cabinet member.
Shiite Muslims are the majority in Bahrain, but the Khalifa family is Sunni, and Shiites have demanded a greater say in the running of the country.
The main Shiite opposition group won all 18 seats it contested in the 40-member parliament, making it the lower house's largest single bloc.