August 21, 2021
By Sidi Mohamed | The Peninsula
DOHA – The second phase of the electoral process for the next Shura Council elections will start tomorrow after the success of the first phase.
From tomorrow, the Supervisory Committee for the Shura Council elections will start receiving candidates’ registrations. The applications for registration of candidates will continue for five days from Sunday (August 22) to Thursday (August 26).
The Supervisory Committee for the Shura Council has also announced that the deadline for receiving objection and grievance requests against the preliminary voter lists in the electoral headquarters ends today at 12 noon and the final voter lists will be announced tomorrow (Sunday).
The election campaign will begin after the announcement of the final lists of candidates (September 15) and will end 24 hours before the start of voting process.
Qatari citizens can vote for 30 members of the Shura Council while H H the Amir will appoint another 15 members.
The upcoming Shura Council will have legislative authority and approve general state policies and the budget. It will also exercise control over the executive, except for bodies defining defence, security, economic, and investment policy.
Youssef Al Zaman, a lawyer, said the voters should look at the candidates’ lists, attend their meetings, read their programmes, and then determine the best in representing the public interest and interest of the state.
Speaking in a Qatar TV programme, he emphasised that the voter has a national responsibility to choose the best candidate. “They must monitor the candidates and compare their electoral programmes and then choose the most qualified ones.”
Regarding the maximum amount a candidate can spend on the election campaign which is QR2m, Al Zaman noted: “The candidate must open a bank account through which he spends on electoral campaigns with an amount not exceeding QR2m and the candidate may receive support from the community at a rate not exceeding 35 percent of the two million riyals.”
He stressed that the Shura Council is specialised in legislation, so the members of the Shura Council can adopt a proposal, amend a law, and the government is also able to propose the amendment to any law.
“Approval of the public budget requires an economic/financial vision and experience in matters related to public budget. Therefore a candidate must have many qualities, including competence and the ability to face these tasks and show patriotism by working for the public interest and not for individual interest,” Al Zaman said.
The Supervisory Committee for the Shura Council elections has also stressed that candidates must respect provisions of the Constitution. Organising and holding election meetings, giving speeches, placing posters, advertisements or pictures in educational facilities and government buildings is not allowed.