Prime Minister Sheikh Khalid bin Khalifa bin Abdulaziz Al Thani called on citizens to “actively participate in the first elections in the history of the State of Qatar.”
According to a decree issued by the ruling Emir on Sunday, Qatar will vote on two-thirds of the advisory committee for legislation on October 2.
The Qataris will elect 30 members from 45 seats, and the Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani will continue to appoint the remaining 15 members.
The council will have legislative power and approve general national policies and budgets. In addition to institutions that formulate national defense, security, economic, and investment policies, it will also exercise control over the executive branch.
According to the state-run Qatar News Agency, Prime Minister Sheikh Khalid bin Khalifa bin Abdulaziz Al Thani called on citizens to “actively participate in the first elections in the history of the State of Qatar to form The elected Shura Committee”.
“The principle of these elections is the complete belief that Qataris are equal in rights and duties. This principle is achieved through compliance with constitutional provisions, national traditions and stable customs, and through established laws and constitutional tools and procedures,” Sheikh Khalid said.
Kuwait is currently the only Gulf monarchy country that grants substantive power to an elected parliament. The parliament can obstruct laws and challenge ministers, although like neighboring countries, the final decision-making power depends on the ruler.
The October polls sparked some debate about the inclusiveness of the election, after some members of a tribe found themselves ineligible to vote because a law restricted voting to Qataris whose family was in Qatar before 1930.
The electoral law is based on the constitution passed by a referendum in 2003 and can be reviewed by the new Shura committee.