Qatar creates control body for first legislative elections Qatar News


The committee will oversee the elections for two-thirds of the 45-seat Shura Council, which advises the governor of Qatar.

Qatar has set up a committee to oversee its first legislative elections, which will be held in October, its interior ministry said on Sunday.

Elections will be for two-thirds, or 30 members, of the 45-seat Shura Advisory Council. Qatar Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani will appoint 15 members, instead of the entire council as he does today.

Prime Minister Sheikh Khalid bin Khalifa Al Thani, who also acts as interior minister, ordered the establishment of a monitoring committee that will be headed by Interior Ministry officials, the ministry said on Twitter .

Qatar, which already has municipal elections, has not yet published the law on the electoral system for the Shura Council nor has it set an exact date for the vote. Like other Arab states in the Gulf, Qatar has banned political parties.

Sheikh Khalid said last month that an election bill passed by the cabinet in May would put limits on campaign spending and criminalize foreign funding and vote buying.

He said the small but rich country, the world’s leading supplier of liquefied natural gas that will host the 2022 FIFA World Cup, has been divided into 30 constituencies.

Sheikh Khalid had also said that there was no pressure from the people of Qatar to hold the Shura elections.

He said it was rather the belief of the Emir of Qatar in moving “towards strengthening the role of the Shura Council in the development of the legislative process and expanding national participation,” he told Qatar media on last month.

In recent months, Qatar has worked on the development of constitutional procedures and legislative tools, including electoral law.

The events come after Sheikh Tamim ordered the formation of a committee to organize the vote in November last year, after a delay of several years.

Qataris represent about 10 percent of the approximate population of 2.7 million, most of whom are foreign workers.

Kuwait is the only Gulf monarchy that grants substantial powers to an elected parliament, which can block laws and question ministers, even though the final decision rests with the ruler.

Bahrain and Oman have elections for a house of their bicameral parliaments, which have limited influence.

The advisory body of Saudi Arabia is appointed. In the United Arab Emirates, the government approves which citizens can vote for half of the members of the advisory board.

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