DUBAI — Bahrain's Cabinet proposed on Sunday giving more powers to the elected chamber and allowing it to question ministers, as part of constitutional reforms in the wake of pro-democracy protests last year.
The Cabinet proposed amendments to "achieve greater balance between the executive and the legislative, to strengthen the role of the legislative and regulate the questioning of ministers", the state news agency BNA said.
The Cabinet also approved a 5.35 million dinar ($14.2 million) programme to help 211,000 private sector workers making less than 250 dinars a month in the Gulf island country, a regional banking centre, the agency said.
The Cabinet said the proposed reforms were the result of talks between Bahrain's opposition and pro-government groups which began in July, aimed at healing deep rifts opened when the Western-allied state's Sunni rulers crushed protests led by majority Shiites early last year.
Bahrain's largest Shiite opposition group Wefaq withdrew from the "national dialogue", complaining with other opposition groups they would never get their proposed reforms approved, as the opposition was allocated only 35 of 300 seats in the discussions. Some other opposition representatives remained in the talks.