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Qatari voters weigh in on first legislative elections | Elections Information

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 varied 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 largely males, with 29 ladies among the many 284 hopefuls operating for the 30 out there council seats.

These operating needed to be authorised by the Ministry of Inside in opposition to a bunch of standards, together with age and character. Outcomes are anticipated to be introduced in a while Saturday.

Beforehand, the council primarily acted as a consultative physique, however is now anticipated to get pleasure from legislative authority and approve basic state insurance policies.

The council is projected to focus its consideration on social points reminiscent of 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 were naturalised since then will not be.

Al Jazeera spoke to voters about their expertise with casting their poll and their expectations for the longer term.

Ali Nebet al-Khulaifi, 44

Ali forged his vote based mostly on a selected electoral programme [Sorin Furcoi/Al Jazeera]

I used to be following the assorted 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 will probably be an enormous step ahead for the nation.

We hope that the council will do what is healthier for the nation, work along with the federal government to implement growth plans, and monitor and enhance the efficiency of the assorted ministries.

Sabeka al-Khulaifi, 31

The ladies’s part at a Doha-based polling station [Sorin Furcoi/Al Jazeera]

I’m so grateful for this chance as a result of we hope to vary just a few issues in our group. It is a good step in Qatar that’s occurring for the primary time.

One of many principal issues that drew me to the candidate I voted for was their stance on points regarding ladies’s rights.

I hope the council will assist change issues for divorced and widowed ladies as they’re hoping to amass their very own homes, and for the physique to assist implement fewer working hours for working moms.

Alanoud Khalifa al-Khulaifi, 39

Alanoud hopes the council will assist obtain ‘every little thing that’s good’ for the nation [Sorin Furcoi/Al Jazeera]

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 essential.

I hope that the council will assist obtain every little thing that’s good for the state and for its residents, particularly ladies.

Mohammed al-Khulaifi, 52

Mohammed says voting in Qatar’s Shura Council elections is a ‘nationwide responsibility’ [Sorin Furcoi/Al Jazeera]

Voting in right this moment’s election is a nationwide responsibility, and it’s each citizen’s reliable proper. The voting course of was simpler than I anticipated and was fast and straightforward.

To forged a poll is a big win as residents get to practise their democratic proper. I count on political and financial calls for to extend sooner or later now that there will probably be an elected council in place.

Nouf Mohammed al-Khulaifi, 33

A lady participates within the Shura Council elections [Sorin Furcoi/Al Jazeera]

Having the ability to vote provides an opportunity for the general public to decide on what they must be part of the federal government.

For girls, particularly, voting and being represented will assist our voices be extra heard.

Ladies at the moment are equal to males – they work in the identical sectors, they each research and work collectively to construct the nation, not only a household.

Particularly, I hope the council will assist ladies obtain a greater steadiness between their work and private lives.

Hind al-Khulaifi, late 20s

Ladies lined as much as forged their ballots [Sorin Furcoi/Al Jazeera]

The voting course of was fast and straightforward. I used to be anxious earlier than coming right here and didn’t know what to anticipate, nevertheless it 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 symbolize our household’s rights adequately, in order that if we had any considerations sooner or later, there could be somebody who’s involved with the higher our bodies of the state.

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