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New Qatar election law expands voting rights, spells out candidacy requirements

  • Jul 29, 2021
  • Author: QT-Online
  • Number of views: 2560
  • Top News
Tribune News Network
Doha
His Highness the Amir of the State of Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani on Thursday confirmed Law No. 7 of 2021 regarding the Shura Council elections, which will be held for the first time in Qatar in October.
According to the law, which seeks to promote civic participation in the elections, the right to vote has been expanded to include everyone who has acquired Qatari citizenship, provided that his grandfather is Qatari and born in Qatar.
It also stipulates the following conditions for those who seek to run for the upcoming Shura Council elections: 
*The candidate must be a Qatari; that is from a family that resided in Qatar before 1930, as stated in the Constitution, which was issued in 2004 and was voted on by the Qatari people. (The result of the referendum agreed with 96.6% of the respondents)
*Age at the closing of the nomination shall not be less than 30 years
*Fluent in the Arabic, both reading and writing
*The candidate must be registered in the electoral district where he is running
*He should be of good reputation, of good conduct, and known for his honesty, uprightness, and good manners
* He has not been previously convicted of a crime involving moral turpitude or dishonesty, unless he has been rehabilitated in accordance with the law.
The law stipulated its implementation and enforcement from the date of its issuance, and to be published in the Official Gazette.
The law on the electoral system for the Shura Council, which was approved by His Highness the Amir, is in line with the Qatari Constitution and Qatar National Vision 2030, which aims to enhance the participation of citizens in the decision-making process.
The wise leadership has been keen, through the electoral law, for the Shura Council to be a true representative of the will of Qatari citizens. Therefore, the law came to enshrine the principle of popular participation in the legislative process and at the same time derived its articles and chapters from the constitution, which was approved by voting by the Qatari people.
The Shura Council assumes roles and responsibilities that are compatible with the requirements of its existence. The Council assumes the authority of legislation, approves the state’s general budget, and exercises control over the executive authority, in the manner set out in the Constitution of Qatar, such as suggesting laws and expressing wishes to the government in public matters and exercising the supervisory role over the executive authority through monitoring the government.

Foreign funding barred
The law in Qatar has criminalized foreign funding, especially in the elections of the Shura Council, and has established deterrent penalties in order to ensure the absence of such serious violations that affect legislative life, as it is punishable by imprisonment for a period not exceeding five years and a fine not exceeding ten million riyals or one of the  These two penalties are for any candidate who requests, accepts, or receives movable or immovable funds, directly or indirectly, or obtains an advantage or benefit from any foreign person or entity, to support him or finance his electoral campaign, as well as confiscate the funds and benefits obtained  It must be re-elected if this candidate wins the elections in the district in which he won.
The Shura Council elections law has prohibited any attempts by the electoral campaigner to divide society, stir up tribal or sectarian strife, or infringe on the sanctity of religion, morals, and authentic societal customs. The law also criminalizes any form of abuse against competing candidates, under penalty of peril.