Bahrain

MP Loses Parliament Seat Over Undisclosed Foreign Citizenship

Bahrain’s highest court has removed a member of parliament from his seat after discovering his undisclosed foreign citizenship. The Seventh Court of Cassation announced today that the representative for Muharraq’s first district, Mohammed Rafiq Al Hussaini, has been disqualified due to his breach of the constitutional requirement to hold only Bahraini nationality.

The decision, delivered by presiding Judge Sheikh Khalid bin Ali Al Khalifa, followed an appeal by the Directorate of Nationality, Passports, and Residence Affairs. They provided evidence that Al-Husseini held dual citizenship at the time of his candidacy for the Council of Representatives, contravening Article 57(a) of the Constitution, which mandates single nationality for members.

The Court of Cassation declared Al-Hussaini’s membership in the Council of Representatives for the First District in Muharraq Governorate invalid from the date of this ruling.

The court explained that Article 57(a) of the Constitution requires members of the Council of Representatives to hold only Bahraini citizenship, either by birth or naturalisation, without retaining any other nationality. This requirement is not a form of discrimination based on origin but a measure aimed at ensuring the full allegiance of representatives to the Kingdom of Bahrain, thereby supporting the country’s democratic development.

The court affirmed that the constitutional principles of equality before the law, as stipulated in Articles 4 and 18, do not prevent the legislature from setting reasonable conditions for membership in the Council of Representatives, such as the requirement of single Bahraini nationality. The court concluded that this requirement serves the public interest by ensuring that representatives’ loyalty lies solely with the Bahraini people.

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News of Bahrain

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