Qatar sets up supervisory body for first legislative elections
The elections will be for two-thirds, or 30 members, of the 45-seat advisory Shura Council. The ruling emir will appoint 15 members, rather than the entire council as he does today.
Prime Minister Sheikh Khalid bin Khalifa Al Thani, who also serves as interior minister, ordered the establishment of a supervisory committee which will be headed by interior ministry officials, the ministry said on Twitter.
Qatar, which already has municipal elections, has yet to publish the electoral system law for the Shura Council or set an exact date for the vote. Like other Gulf Arab states, Qatar bans political parties.
Sheikh Khalid last month said that a draft electoral law approved by the cabinet in May would put limits on campaign spending and criminalise foreign funding and vote-buying.
He said the small but wealthy country, the world's top liquefied natural gas supplier which will host the 2022 soccer World Cup, had been divided into 30 electoral districts.
Qataris account for around 10% of the roughly 2.7 million population, most of whom are foreign workers.
Kuwait is the only Gulf monarchy to give substantial powers to an elected parliament, which can block laws and question ministers, though ultimate decision-making rests with the ruler.
Bahrain and Oman have elections for one house of their bicameral parliaments, which have limited influence.
Saudi Arabia's advisory body is appointed. In the United Arab Emirates, rulers approve which citizens are allowed to vote for half the advisory council's members.