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Tuesday, October 26, 2021

Qatar’s first legislative elections see 63.5% voter turnout as women fail to break through


Qataris headed to 30 different polls across the nation and accounted for an almost 64% voter turnout at its first legislative election.

Voter turnout for Saturday’s Shura Council elections has been revealed to be at 63.5% according to the Ministry of Interior (MoI).

Qataris across on the nation voted for 30 members in the 45-seat legislative body. Now, the Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al Thani will select the remaining 15 members.

Late on Saturday, the winners from each district were revealed. However, even with the surprisingly high voter turnout, the final results showed that none of the 26 women who were among the 233 candidates across the 30 districts were elected into the country’s advisory council.

It is yet to be seen if women will be among the 15 members who will be personally appointed by the amir.

Voter turnout is expected to rise in future elections, especially with the potential of amendments to the electoral laws of the Gulf state.

Earlier in September, Qatar’s foreign minster Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani confirmed that laws on who is eligible to participate in the Shura Council elections can be changed once the new body is elected into office.

“There may be a legal restriction right now, which is not allowing maybe part of the population to participate in the elections…but there is also a clear process for this law to be changed that the next Shura Council should address,” said Sheikh Mohammed in an interview with the US Council on Foreign Relations [CFR] on the sidelines of the 7th Session of the UNGA.

The diplomat stressed that the government “is for everyone who is living in Qatar” and it is committed to serving all populations under “the same conditions and level of service”.

The comments made by the foreign minister last month came after many took to social media to protest provisions on voters and candidates for the elections, with debates and small-scale protests sprouting up to voice disapproval.

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