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Qatar to hold Shura Council elections for first time

Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani on 7 September 2018 [Abdülhamid Hoşbaş/Anadolu Agency]
Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani on 7 September 2018 [Abdülhamid Hoşbaş/Anadolu Agency]

Qatar’s emir has ordered that a committee be established to organise the country’s first ever elections to the Shura Council, state news agency QNA reported.

The committee will be chaired by the prime minister, QNA said.

Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani issued the order on 30 October which will see 30 members of the council being elected while another 15 will be appointed by the emir. It brings to an end the process which saw Sheikh Tamim appoint all 45 members of the council.

It follows a 2017 decision to appoint women to  the Shura Council.

Qatari writer and CEO of Dar Al-Arab, Jaber Al-Harami, said that there are high hopes for the Shura Council elections.

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“There is serious intention from the decision-makers’ part ingrain electoral tradition in the Qatari parliament,” he added, stressing stressed that there is a genuine desire and aspiration among citizens to achieve this step.

“Qatar’s implementation of this political reform is an indication of the seriousness of the Qatari decision-making circle and its genuine desire to keep up with the new phase initiated by Qatar.”

Al-Harami asserted that proceeding with the election process in spite of all the circumstances is a wise and thoughtful decision and expresses a vision from the future of the Qatari leadership.

Qatari writer Abdulaziz Al-Khater stated: “It is a decision that the community has long been waiting for, as an elected Shura Council will undertake a significant role in filling an important vacuum in the Qatari public sphere.”

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