PREPARATIONS for next year’s elections at Bahrain’s main business body will begin next week.
A nine-member committee, headed by economist Jassim Abul A’al, was appointed yesterday to oversee the upcoming board elections at Bahrain Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI).
Thousands of businessmen in the country are expected to go to the polls in February to elect a new 18-member board for a four-year term.
“The committee comes in line with the BCCI laws and regulations and we hope to meet next week to initiate our plan of action,” Mr Abdul A’al told the GDN.
“As per the regulations there are certain time frames and criteria that govern the elections.
“We will be reviewing our plans in line with this and subsequently, in consultation with the authorities, will announce the dates.
“We will be responsible for receiving the nominations, reviewing applications – as in verifying them with the board membership – and supervising the election process.
“The election is usually scheduled for the end of February and we hope it will remain the same this time as well.”
The other members of the committee are Yousif Salahuddin, Ghassan Qassim Fakhro, Rashed Abdulrahman, Nada Ahmadi, Abduljalil Al A’ali, Zainat Al Mansori, Khalid Al Awadhi and Fareed Ghazi Rafea.
The appointment was made by BCCI chairman Khalid Almoayed following a decision taken during the board’s 24th meeting held in September.
The frontrunners so far include BCCI Old Suq Committee vice-chairman Mahmoud Al Namliti and debutant Khalil Al Qaheri.
The GDN reported in August that Mr Al Qaheri was the first businessman to declare his candidacy for the polls.
The 30-year-old, who runs Stradico consultancy firm and Ibdaa Hub Training Centre, said he would look into developing programmes provided by the BCCI, focusing on Small and Medium Enterprises.
Mr Al Namliti in a statement said he aimed to focus on the development of legislation to attract foreign investment, along with reviving the old Manama Suq, and on promoting a culture of entrepreneurship among young people.
Last year the BCCI witnessed a major restructuring of its board with Ahmed Bin Hindi and Abdulhakeem Al Shammary replacing Nabeel Kanoo and Khalid Al Amin on its seven-member executive committee.
In July last year the BCCI board also passed a vote of no-confidence against its former chief executive and voted to replace him with Dr Khalid Al Ruwaihi.
In February this year board member Othman Al Rayes also resigned alleging the role of BCCI chairman Khalid Almoayed had been hijacked by other members and general body resolutions on membership fees were bypassed.
After last year’s board reshuffle Mr Almoayed tendered his resignation, citing frustration at alleged interference by the Industry, Commerce and Tourism Ministry, but the board rejected his resignation.