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Home / World / Qatar votes in first legislative election for advisory Shura Council

Qatar votes in first legislative election for advisory Shura Council

Voters trickled into polling stations, where men and women entered separate sections to elect 30 members of the 45-seat body
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Reuters   |   Doha   |   Published 03.10.21, 02:11 AM

Qataris voted on Saturday in the Gulf Arab state’s first legislative election for two-thirds of the advisory Shura Council.

Voters trickled into polling stations, where men and women entered separate sections to elect 30 members of the 45-seat body. The ruling emir will continue to appoint the remaining 15 members of the council.

“With the chance to vote, I feel this is a new chapter,” Munira, who writes children’s books and asked to be identified by only one name, told Reuters. “I’m really happy about the number of women standing as candidates.”

The council will have legislative authority and approve general state policies and the budget, but has no control over executive bodies setting defence, security, economic and investment policy for the small but wealthy gas producer, which bans parties.

Latest government lists showed 26 women among about 183 candidates across 30 districts in the country, which has for several years held municipal polls.

“This is a first-time experience for me ... to be here and meet people talking about these things that we need,” said Khalid Almutawah, a candidate in the Markhiya district. “At the end of this day, the people of Qatar, they’re going to be part of the decision making,” said another male candidate in the same district, Sabaan Al Jassim, 65.

 The vote indicates Qatar’s ruling al-Thani family is “taking seriously the idea of symbolically sharing power, but also effectively sharing power institutionally with other Qatari tribal groups,” said Allen Fromherz, director of Georgia University’s Middle East Studies Centre. 



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