The United Nation secretary-general welcomed Qatar’s vow to hold Shura Council elections in October 2021, more than a decade after first announcing the move.
Spokesman Stephane Dujarric said Antonio Gutteres “is encouraged by the important announcement made by the emir.”
“We understand that preparations are under way and that the government of Qatar will take all necessary measures to allow for inclusive, participatory measures,” Dujarric told AP. “Obviously, any move to give people a voice in how they govern themselves is to be encouraged.”
The Amir’s announcement came as part of his inaugural speech at the Shura Council legislative body.
Sheikh Tamim said that the first-ever vote will take place in October 2021, describing it as “an important step” for the Gulf state in order to “develop the legislative process with a wider participation of citizens”.
Approved in a 2003 referendum, the country’s constitution calls for the election of 30 seats of the country’s Shura Council, with the voting carried out in a secret ballot, according to local Alarab. The other 15 seats are appointed by the Amir.
The announcement has drawn commendation from other members of Qatar’s leadership as well, such as the Shura Council Speakers, Qatar’s Ambassador to the United Kingdom and the Education Minister.