Voter turnout reaches 63.5 percent in Qatar’s legislative elections

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Around 63.5 per cent of eligible Qatari voters took part in the Gulf country’s first-ever elections for the consultative parliament, the Interior Ministry said on Sunday.

A constitution ratified in 2004 introduced the polls, which finally took place on Saturday after repeated delays. The elections were hailed by the government as “historic.”

The country bans political parties.

Voters elected two-thirds of the Shura Council’s members, or 30 candidates. The emir, Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, will appoint the remaining 15 members.

Results announced by the Interior Ministry showed that no female candidates were elected. According to the official QNA news agency, there were 26 women vying for seats among around 230 candidates.

The parliament will have some legislative powers including approving the national budget, monitoring the performance of ministers and drafting legislation. Decisions need a two-thirds majority in the council as well as the emir’s ratification.

The election caused controversy, as it limited numbers of eligible voters and those who can run as candidates, preventing many naturalized citizens from taking part.

The elections come one year ahead of the World Cup in Qatar, which is due to take place November 21-December 18, 2022.

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