Bahrain Tribune – 13 April, 2008
Youth leaders have protested a government move to hand over the youth parliament project to the National Institute for Political Development saying this would politicise the youth movement.
“They are mixing youth issues with politics. It only shows that the General Organisation for Youth and Sports has failed to implement the project. So it is being transferred to a political institute,” Bahrain Youth Society president Hussain Oraibi told the Tribune yesterday.
Last month the authorities had announced that the institute would supervise the project.
Youth societies are upset that the project is yet to take off.
“A lot of time has been wasted on the project which is yet to start. I think civil societies should set up a committee which should have two government representatives to supervise the youth parliament,” Bahrain Youth Society for Human Rights president Mohammed Al Maskati said.
The youth parliament will comprise 40 members and have four permanent committees similar to the Chamber of Deputies.
Eight youth will be appointed to handle the media. Candidates will have to undergo intensive training to enhance legislative skills before they contest for the youth parliament.
The project aims to educate youth on the democratic practices in Bahrain and their rights.
Candidates should be in the age group 14-18.
But youth societies want to raise the maximum age to 21. “The 14-18 age group includes mostly schoolchildren who are usually unaware of youth issues. The authorities should raise the age to 21,” Al Maskati said.
Oraibi agreed with Al Maskati and said the youth parliament elections should be held immediately in a transparent manner. “The 21 year age limit will ensure good participation,” he said.
The youth parliament will work in coordination with similar parliaments around the world.