Bahrain’s King Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifa has reshuffled the cabinet in a bid to placate protesters demanding an overhaul in the way the country is governed.

On 25 February, protests continued in Bahrain, with thousands taking to the streets for a day of mourning announced by the government in recognition of the deaths of protesters over the previous two weeks.

The reshuffle, announced late on the 26 February, coincided with the planned return to Bahrain of Hassan Mushaimaa, an exiled Shia leader of the opposition Haq movement. His return was prompted by the government pardoning him for his involvement in an alleged coup plot, along with 24 other people. He is expected to take part in the national dialogue being led by Crown Prince Salman bin Isa al-Khalifa to address the concerns of protesters.

The reshuffle covers the following posts:

Majeed bin Mohsen al-Alawi, former labour minister will become the new housing minister. He will replace Sheikh Ebrahim bin Khalifa al-Khalifa

Abdul Hussain bin ali Mirza, currently oil and gas minister, will take responsibility for a new portfolio as Energy Minister, which will include oil, gas, electricity and water. He replaces Fahmi bin ali al-Jowdar.

Nezar al-Bahamah will become health minister, he was previously the foreign minister and will replace former health minister Faisal bin Yaqoub al-Hammar.

Jameel Humaidan has been promoted to labour minister, from undersecretary in the Labour Ministry.

Kamal bin ahmed Mohammed, former chief operating officer of the Economic Development Board, is the new minister of cabinet affairs, replacing Sheikh Ahmed bin Atiyatallah al-Khalifa.

King Hamad also announced that all government housing loans would be reduced by 25 per cent.