Brussels, 4 November 2020 – Qatar’s emir has said the Gulf state would hold elections for its advisory Shura Council in October 2021. The new announcement is major change to empower democracy in the region. The step is part of new Qatari strategy to modernize the country and its political system.
The decision was announced by head of the state, Qatar’s emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani “This is an important step towards strengthening Qatari advisory traditions and developing the legislative process with wider citizen participation,” Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani said while addressing the opening of the Shura Council on Tuesday.
The new announcement drew positive reactions from politicians and human rights NGOs across Europe.
Member of European Parliament Klemen Groselj welcomed the step and said in a tweet, “Some positive news coming from the Gulf region. Qatar to held first ever elections. Despite all tensions in the region, things could move in right direction.”
Meanwhile Giosi Ferrandino MEP send his congrations to Qatar saying “Congratulations to the State of #Qatar whereby they will now have the first National Parliamentry elections. The council of Shura is now will be elected rather than being appointed by the Emir. Great step for democracy in the #MiddleEast”
Fulvio Martusciello MEP also tweeted, “Emir of Qatar has announced parliamentary elections today where the Shura council will be by election rather than appointing.This important step will help empower democracy and law and support human rights. It’s important that people have their say and elect their representatives”
On his part, Member of the European Parliament, of RenewEurope, and vice chair of the European Parliament Committee on Foreign Affairs former Chair, Foreign Minister of Estonia 2005- stated, “Qatar’s ruler said that a long-delayed vote for the country’s policy reviewing cham be will be held in October 2021, marking the Gulf emirate’s first national election.”
Meanwhile, Paolo Borchia, Member of the European Parliament in the Identity and Democracy Group, elected to the League in the North-East constituency. Federal Coordinator of League in the World commend the Qatar step. He added in a tweet, “#Qatar, in 2021 the first democratic elections. But how concrete will there be in this opening up? Who will have the right to vote? Who can be nominated? The road to the #democrazia is still very long.”
Ryszard Czarnecki MEP, Member of the European Parliament, Law and Justice politician congratulated the state of Qatar, in a tweet he stated, “Qatar keeps its promise to hold elections to the top advisory panel. A very positive step to bring inclusivity among citizens in a Hereditary Empire. Congratulations”
In statements made to the press, Luísa Regimenti and Giana Gancia MEPs welcomed the step and consider as vital to action for a democratic middle East. They added that such step must encourage all countries in the Middle East to embrace democracy.
Members of Italian National parliament have also reacted to the Qatari announcement, Members of Italian Parliament. According, to Monica Macchioni of Carpe Diem Macc of the National Press Office., MP Antonio martino described the Qatari step as, “Historical decision taken by the Emir of #Qatar. #Democrazia and #Libertà finally for these people.”
MP Amedeo Laboccetta has also commented on the announcement and described it as, “The decision to call for the 2021 elections of the Emir of #Qatar. #Democrazia and #Libertà should be celebrated”
Italian MP, Michaela Biancofiore welcomed the step and regard it as “historic”. She tweeted, “Democracy: at a time when our freedoms are put at great risk, it is a breath of oxygen that the Emir of #Quatar called the first free elections for his people. A historic message from the gulf.”
Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani says the Gulf state will hold long-promised elections for top advisory panel in October 2021.
Plans for a partial popular election to the 45-member top advisory council have been delayed for several years.
Last year, the emir ordered the formation of a committee to organise the elections but did not announce a date for the vote. Following the elections, the council’s power is expected to be expanded to include the ability to dismiss ministers, approve the national budget and propose legislation.
Qatar has already made vital changes to its human rights system and cancelled the Kafala system. It also signed to many international human rights accords to protect the rights of workers.