The Emir of Qatar has announced that the country will hold long-promised elections for its top advisory panel next year, reports Al Jazeera. Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al-Thani said that the first ever vote for the Shura Council will take place in October 2021.
"It is an important step towards enhancing the Qatari Shura [consultative] traditions and developing the legislative process with a wider participation of citizens," said the Emir. He added that the polls will be held in according with the constitution of 2004, which was approved in a referendum held the year before.
In October 2019, Sheikh Tamim ordered the formation of a committee to prepare for the Shura Council elections.
The Shura Council is the Gulf state's legislative body which gained new areas of jurisdiction in the 2003 referendum, such as the authority to dismiss ministers, approve the national budget and propose legislation. It can also make recommendations to the government.
The council has 45 members; 30 posts will be up for election next year while the other 15 seats are appointed by the Emir, as per the 2003 amended constitution.