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Posted On: 15 October 2020 11:11 am
Updated On: 12 November 2020 10:18 am

How much do you know about the government system in Qatar?

Vrinda Abilash
Vrinda Abilash
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Have you ever wondered what the system of government in Qatar is like and what are the different bodies that make the State of Qatar run so smoothly? We give you a breakdown of the different layers of the government in Qatar. Let’s dive straight into it.

H.H. The Amir

His Highness Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, Image Credit: Amiri Diwan

As we all know, H.H. the Amir, is the head of the State of Qatar and it is the duty of everyone to respect him. He is also the Commander-in-chief of the armed forces of Qatar and the Amir represents the State in Qatar, abroad and in all foreign relations.

Council of Ministers

Image Credit: Amiri Diwan

The government in the State of Qatar is formed by the division of powers and their interlinking in terms of functioning. The Amir has the ultimate power and is assisted by the Council of Ministers and as directed in the Constitution of Qatar.

The executive power in the country is made up of the following:

  • Council of Ministers
  • Ministries of the State of Qatar
  • Governmental Authorities
  • Other Governmental Institutions and Agencies

The role of the Council of Ministries as the highest executive power in the State of Qatar is responsible for the running of all the internal and external affairs. These responsibilities are as directed in the Constitution and as prescribed by the law of Qatar. The responsibilities of the governmental authorities and the other governmental institutions lie in discharging public policies and other programs in the State.

The Prime Minister of the State of Qatar

H.E. Prime Minister and Minister of Interior Sheikh Khalid bin Khalifa bin Abdulaziz Al-Thani, Image Credit: GCO

The Prime Minister of the State of Qatar is in charge of the Council of Ministers in Qatar. He manages and oversees the coordination and the smooth running of work among the different ministries in Qatar and sees to that unity and synergy is maintained at all times. The decisions made by the Council of Ministers are signed in the name or on behalf of them by the Prime Minister.

State Ministries

The different ministries in the State of Qatar are formed by the Amiri order on the proposal of the Prime Minister. The law specifies the powers held by the different ministries the governmental authorities and the other governmental institutions and also specifies their competencies. They are as follows:

  • Ministry of Administrative Development, Labor & Social Affairs
  • Ministry of Commerce and Industry
  • Ministry of Finance
  • Ministry of Culture and Sports
  • Ministry of Defense
  • Ministry of Foreign Affairs
  • Ministry of Education and Higher Education
  • Ministry of Endowments (Awqaf) and Islamic Affairs
  • Ministry of Energy and Industry
  • Ministry of Municipality and Environment
  • Ministry of Transport and Communications
  • Ministry of Public Health
  • Ministry of Interior
  • Ministry of Justice

To get a detailed understanding of each ministry in the State of Qatar, click here.

The Electoral System & The Central Municipal Council

Qatari men and women over the age of 18 are eligible to vote for 30 of the 45 seats in the Consultative Assembly in Qatar. In a historic step towards democracy, in the year 1999 Qatar witnessed its first elections for the Central Municipal Council. This encouraged women to run as candidates, cast their votes and participate for the first time in the process of public affairs.

The Central Municipal Council is an independent body that carries out its responsibilities without interference and is made up of 29 elected members representing 29 constituencies from more than 242 regions in Qatar.

The Central Municipal Council elections are held every four years and the votes are counted from the date of its first meeting.

How much do you know about elections in Qatar? Know more about the CMC elections here.

The Shura Council

Image Credit: The Shura Council

The legislative authority is known as the Shura Council or the Advisory Council. The judicial authority is entrusted in the courts of law and is in line with the Constitution of Qatar. The Shura Council, approves the general policy of the government, the budget of the State, and exercises control over the executive authority as directed in the constitution. The sittings of the Council are public. However, upon the request of the Council of Ministers or upon the request of 1/3rd of the members of the Council, the sittings may be held in camera. The Council's resolutions are passed by an absolute majority of the attending members and when the votes are equal, the speaker shall have a deciding vote.

Learn more about the Shura Council, the members and responsibilities here.

Did you know how the government is formed and the division of power in Qatar? What else would you like to know? Write to us below! Do share this article - it keeps us going!

Source: Amiri Diwan, GCO, The Shura Council, MOFA
Cover image source: Amiri Diwan