Risk Management Report - Bahrain
Politics: The Al-Khalifa family came to power in 1783, driving the Persian empire from the archipelago. The British empire, interested in maritime trade routes, entered into an alliance with the Al-Khalifa in 1820; only in 1971 did Bahrain declare independence. The constitution provided for a fully elected parliament, which was formed in 1973 but disbanded in 1975 after a period of repressive rule; a partially elected body was reinstated in 2002. However, power lies primarily with the executive in a polity where the Sunni royal family rules over a majority Shia population; the preponderance of Al-Khalifa in key positions blurs lines between the state and ruling family. King Hamad Bin Isa Al-Khalifa succeeded his father in 1999 and declared himself king of a constitutional monarchy in 2002.