DOHA (Al Jazeera) – Qatar’s Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani has approved an electoral law for the country’s first legislative polls, due to be held in October, his office said.
The vote will be for 30 members, of the 45-seat Shura Council. The remaining one-third of the council will continue to be appointed by the emir.
Appointed and elected members will have the same rights and duties, including approving the general policy of the government and budget, as well as exercising control over the executive authority, according to the new electoral law.
Members can also present proposals related to the government’s public matters.
The Shura Council elections are aimed at promoting wider citizen participation in line with the vision of Sheikh Tamim.
Prime Minister Sheikh Khalid bin Khalifa Al Thani, who also serves as interior minister, said the country had been divided into 30 electoral districts, with one candidate elected for each district.
The new law states that citizens aged 18 and above, and whose grandfather was born in Qatar, are eligible to vote in districts where their tribe or family reside. Candidates must be of Qatari origin and at least 30 years old.