The decision to delay the Shura Council elections highlights the contradictions of the Qatari Foreign Ministry’s spokeswoman Lulwa Al-Khater, who always speaks about Doha’s adherence to democratic processes!!
Qataris still aspire to apply their constitutional right to elect one-third of the Shura Council members. As the term of the council draws to a close, the prince of the country (Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa and then Sheikh Tamim) issued a decree extending the mandate of the Council. As a matter of fact, the Qataris lost hope, so they were not surprised when Sheikh Tamim issued a decision at the end of June 2019 to renew the mandate of the council and postpone the next election until 2022.
On the eve of the Shura Council elections in Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani issued Decree No. 27 of 2019 extending the period of the Shura Council for two more years, beginning on July 1, 2019, and ending on June 30, 2021.
Qataris were not surprised by this decision since it was repeated many times before, Sheikh Tamim issued a similar decision in the year 2016By which the Council’s 45-member mandate was extended for another three years, which ended on 30 June 2019.
Sheikh Tamim walked through the promise of holding free elections for the council, one of the two legislative wings in Qatar. However, the Prince has the final say on all matters, and the Council itself is still formed by the appointment of the Emir of the country.
This contradicts the constitutional separation which stipulates that “the Shura Council is composed of 45 members. Thirty of them are elected by direct secret general suffrage.
The Emir appoints the other 15 members of ministers or others, “and has the power to veto projects and decisions.
The Emir of Qatar finds justification for postponement in the constitutional text, which says that “the extension of the term of the Council is permissible if it is in the interest of the people.” Thus, the Qataris find themselves facing a “democracy” on paper. The legislative authority and the follow-up of the executive authority in their country are represented by representatives, who do not know them or know their problems and needs.
British researcher James I said. Robinson, in an analysis of the failure of modernization attempts in Qatar, “Given the shortcomings of the Shura Council elections, the process does not deserve to be described as democracy.” He said in his report that Qatar was in the past able to manage the pressures, but there are greater challenges looming.
political expert Abdel Moneim said that Doha wants to appear to be a liberal state in line with what is promoted abroad, but refuses to take effective measures on the ground to prove this trend in practice, because of the in power regime , which is The result of successive coups in the Al-Thani family what led to the arrival of Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad to power.
“There is a tacit agreement that things should go the way they are without amendments that could have an impact on the long-term form of governance,” he said, adding that “the political structure does not encourage the existence of a civil society.” There is no parliament in Qatar. The parliament’s task is usually carried out by the Shura Council, which has limited powers.
Bilal Al-Duwe, Director of the Gulf Center for Counter-Terrorism Studies, said that “the formation of the Shura Council by appointment achieves more than one goal of the system.” He said that the Qatari system is aware of the anger among citizens because of Doha’s foreign policy, an anger that will inevitably show if the elections were held.