Campaigns wrap up on eve of first Qatar national vote

Campaigning ends on eve of Qatar's first-ever national elections
2 min read
The two-week campaign window for the council election was brought to an end 24 hours before voting begins on Saturday. 
The two-week Shura Council election campaign window came to an end on Friday [Getty]

Electoral campaigning in Qatar came to an end on Friday, the eve of the country's first-ever national vote.

The two-week campaign window for the council election was brought to an end 24 hours before voting begins on Saturday. 

Polling stations will open their doors at 8am and shut at 6pm, according to the Qatari interior ministry, which has urged citizens to make their vote count.

Qataris will elect 30 members of the 45-seat Shura Council on 2 October, while Al Thani will continue to appoint the remaining 15 members.

The Council will have legislative authority and approve general state policies and the budget. It will also exercise control over the executive, except for bodies setting defence, security, economic and investment policy.

The currently un-elected Shura Council advises the state's ruler, Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, on draft laws but does not create its own legislation.

Almost 300 candidates are running in the election, 28 of them women. Four women were appointed to the council by Al-Thani in 2017.

Elections for the council, required under the country's 2004 constitution, have been postponed repeatedly and the body's members have instead been directly appointed by the emir. 

Only native Qatari citizens who make up only a tiny fraction of the population are able to vote on Saturday.