Pre-election Analysis

QATAR The Qatar Shura Council Elections: A Preliminary assessment

The long awaited first Qatar Shura Council elections will be held in October 2021, according to the announcement by HH Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani at the inauguration of the 49th session of the appointed Shura Council on 3rd November 2020. Article 77 of the Qatar Constitution of 2003 establishes that the Shura Council will count on 45 members, 30 of them elected by Qatari citizens, and 15 of them appointed by the Emir. Article 76 states that the Shura Council “shall assume legislative authority, approve the general policy of the government and the budget, and shall exercise control over the executive authority,” the contrary of the current council, which is  totally appointed and has advisory capacity only.

The formal inception of such a process dated back to October 2019 when a higher committee was formed, following an Amiri Decision, to draft the electoral law. Among other provisions such as who can run for elections, the law should include the representation mechanism, the electoral formula, and districts distribution. On 19th May 2021, the electoral law got the Cabinet’s approval in its regular meetings chaired by the Prime Minister, Khalid bin Khalifa Al-Thani. To this date, the law has not been approved yet by the Shura Council and the Emir, neither  has the full content of the provisions and conditions been made public.