Qatar’s Shura Council (Advisory Council) was established in 1972 following the provisions of an interim political order issued on 19 April 1972, related to the regulation of the State’s new institutions, including the Shura Council. The Advisory Council assumes the legislative authority, approves the general policy of the government and the budget, and exercises control over the executive authority as prescribed by the constitution.
Sittings of the Council are public. They may also be held in camera upon a request of one-third of the members of the Council or upon a request from the Council of Ministers. The resolutions of the Council are passed by an absolute majority of the attending members save in cases that require a special majority. In case the votes are equal, the speaker shall have a casting vote.
The Amir may dissolve the Council by a Decree in which the reasons for the dissolution shall be stated; however, the Council shall not be dissolved twice for the same reason. Where the Council is dissolved, the elections of the new Council take place within a period not exceeding six months as of the date of dissolution. Until a new Council is elected, the Emir with the assistance of the Council of Ministers assumes the power of legislation.
The Shura Council has legislative powers, is responsible for determining the general budget, and it also checks the executive powers. The Council is responsible for deliberating and making suggestions on a number of issues, including:
The current Shura Council comprises a total of 45 members, 30 of whom are directly elected in a secret general ballot, whilst the remaining 15 are appointed by His Highness the Amir Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani from amongst the ministers or anyone else. The term of service of the appointed members expires when these members resign their seats or are relieved from their posts.
The annual term of the session of the Council is at least eight months and the Council may not be allowed to adjourn the session until the budget of the state is approved. The Council commences its annual ordinary session upon convocation by the H.H. The Amir within the month of October every year. H.H. The Amir or his nominated representative opens the annual term of the session of the Advisory Council and gives a comprehensive speech in which he addresses the affairs of the state.
For sessions to be valid, the majority of the members, including the speaker or his deputy, must attend them. If the number is not complete, the session is postponed to the next convocation date.
The decisions of the Council are made through an absolute majority of present members – in cases where a special majority is not specified – and if the votes are equal, the Speaker’s vote determines the final decision.
In the case of necessity, the H.H. The Amir, by Decree or upon a request by a majority of the members of the Council, calls the Council to an extraordinary meeting, where the Council may not look into matters other than those for which the Council is convoked. Summoning and adjourning the ordinary and extraordinary sessions shall be made by Decree.
The Shura Council's organs are:
The Council has a bureau consisting of the Speaker, his Deputy Speaker and two or more rapporteurs. However, since its inception, it has been a practice in the Council to elect, only two rapporteurs, by secret balloting on the base of proportional majority. The tenure of the two rapporteurs lasts from the end of the preceding day, to the inaugural meeting of the next annual session. However, they may be re-elected for the next sessions of the Council.
The General Secretariat is the executive organ of the Shura Council. It is responsible for all administrative, financial, technical and legal affairs of the Council. It is tasked with the implementation of decisions and recommendations of the Council and its Standing and other Committees composed of the Shura members. It's composed of the:
It has the following technical sections:
The Shura Council forms, from among its members, within the first week of its annual ordinary session, the following Standing Committees:
The Shura Council may, according to the exigencies of the work, may form other Ad hoc, or Standing Committees. Each Ad hoc, or Standing Committee may constitute, from among its members, one or more Sub-Committees.
The Committees shall, after consideration and discussion of each matter referred to them, present to the Speaker of the Council, a comprehensive report on each item referred to them, within 30 days at late, from the date of referral of the issue., unless the Council decides otherwise.
If there are delays in the date of submission of the reports to the Speaker, the Speaker shall solicit the opinion of the members of the Council in the first coming meeting. The Council may grant a new date for submission of the reports or may refer the matter to another Committee or the Council will directly take a decision on it.
Qatar is all set to hold its first Shura Council elections in October 2021. An electoral law for the country’s first legislative polls was passed by His Highness The Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, so there is more participation of Qatari citizens.
The Shura Council has legislative powers, is responsible for determining the general budget, and it also checks the executive powers. The Council is responsible for deliberating and making suggestions on a number of issues.
Based on the electorate, 30 members will be voted in out of the 45 members of the Shura Council, while the remaining 15 will be appointed by H.H. The Amir. All the members of the Shura Council, whether voted in or appointed, will have the same rights and responsibilities.
For more information about the Shura Council of Qatar, please visit their social media pages:
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