Al Jazeera speaks to Qatari residents about their expertise voting for the primary time for the nation’s advisory Shura Council.
Doha, Qatar – Qataris on Saturday voted within the nation’s first legislative elections for two-thirds of the advisory Shura Council.
Eligible voters trickled in all through the day throughout numerous polling stations within the Gulf nation to elect 30 members of the 45-seat physique. Qatar’s Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani will proceed to nominate the remaining 15 members of the council.
The candidates are principally males, with 29 girls among the many 284 hopefuls operating for the 30 out there council seats.
These operating needed to be authorised by the Ministry of Inside towards a bunch of standards, together with age and character. Outcomes are anticipated to be introduced afterward Saturday.
Beforehand, the council primarily acted as a consultative physique, however is now anticipated to get pleasure from legislative authority and approve common state insurance policies.
The council is projected to focus its consideration on social points similar to healthcare, schooling, in addition to citizenship rights.
Qataris quantity about 333,000 – solely 10 p.c of the inhabitants of two.8 million. An electoral legislation authorised final July said solely descendants of those that have been residents in 1930 are eligible to vote, whereas households which have been naturalised since then usually are not.
Al Jazeera spoke to voters about their expertise with casting their poll and their expectations for the long run.
Ali Nebet al-Khulaifi, 44
I used to be following the varied electoral programmes that the candidates put out over the previous 4 weeks. I used to be satisfied with a sure one and voted based mostly on that.
I really feel good to have been capable of take part in selecting our representatives. I’m optimistic and consider that this might be a giant step ahead for the nation.
We hope that the council will do what is best for the nation, work along with the federal government to implement improvement plans, and monitor and enhance the efficiency of the varied ministries.
Sabeka al-Khulaifi, 31
I’m so grateful for this chance as a result of we hope to vary a couple of issues in our neighborhood. This can be a good step in Qatar that’s occurring for the primary time.
One of many important issues that drew me to the candidate I voted for was their stance on points regarding girls’s rights.
I hope the council will assist change issues for divorced and widowed girls as they’re hoping to accumulate their very own homes, and for the physique to assist implement fewer working hours for working moms.
Alanoud Khalifa al-Khulaifi, 39
It’s a bizarre but nice feeling to be voting for the primary time within the nation’s historical past. There have been factors in my candidate’s electoral programme that I consider are vital.
I hope that the council will assist obtain every part that’s good for the state and for its residents, particularly girls.
Mohammed al-Khulaifi, 52
Voting in right now’s election is a nationwide responsibility, and it’s each citizen’s respectable proper. The voting course of was simpler than I anticipated and was fast and simple.
To forged a poll is a large win as residents get to practise their democratic proper. I anticipate political and financial calls for to extend sooner or later now that there might be an elected council in place.
Nouf Mohammed al-Khulaifi, 33
With the ability to vote provides an opportunity for the general public to decide on what they should be part of the federal government.
For ladies, specifically, voting and being represented will assist our voices be extra heard.
Girls are actually equal to males – they work in the identical sectors, they each examine and work collectively to construct the nation, not only a household.
Particularly, I hope the council will assist girls obtain a greater stability between their work and private lives.
Hind al-Khulaifi, late 20s
The voting course of was fast and simple. I used to be anxious earlier than coming right here and didn’t know what to anticipate, but it surely was well-organised. It’s a new expertise and I’m glad that I used to be part of it.
I voted for somebody who I consider will signify our household’s rights adequately, in order that if we had any issues sooner or later, there could be somebody who’s involved with the higher our bodies of the state.