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Posted On: 19 May 2021 07:45 pm
Updated On: 20 May 2021 12:02 pm

Qatar Cabinet affirms Palestine support; approves Shura Council electoral system draft law

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His Excellency (H.E.) Prime Minister and Minister of Interior Sheikh Khalid bin Khalifa bin Abdulaziz Al-Thani chaired Wednesday via videoconference the Cabinet's regular meeting.

Following the meeting, H.E. the Minister of Justice and Acting Minister of State for Cabinet Affairs Dr. Issa bin Saad Al Jafali Al Nuaimi said the following statement:

At the outset of the meeting, the Cabinet reiterated the State of Qatar's condemnation and denunciation for the brutal Israeli bombing of the Gaza Strip, which has been continuing throughout the day for the last ten days, leaving hundreds of martyrs and injured civilians, including men, women and children.

The Cabinet called on the international community to intensify its efforts to stop the repeated brutal Israeli attacks against civilians in Gaza and in all the occupied Palestinian territories, and to stop all its criminal practices contrary to international law and human norms of killing and terrorizing civilians, destroying homes and facilities, and violating the sanctity of the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque, and plans for forced displacement from Jerusalem, ethnic cleansing and racial discrimination, as well as forcing them to implement the decisions issued by the United Nations General Assembly and the UN Security Council, which rejected and condemned the occupation and settlement and recognized the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people.

The Cabinet praised the steadfastness of the brotherly Palestinian people in Gaza and all the Palestinian territories and their stance in the face of the Israeli war machine, and the great sacrifices it has made for the sake of its just cause.

The Cabinet affirmed that the State of Qatar, which is currently making efforts to stop the attacks and violations of the Israeli forces, will remain with the Palestinian people until they obtain their full rights, foremost of which is their right to establish their independent state on the borders of June 4, 1967, with Al-Quds Al-Sharif as its capital.

The Cabinet then listened to the explanation provided by H.E. the Minister of Public Health on the latest developments regarding the steps taken to curb the spread of COVID-19. The Cabinet underlined that the precautionary measures adopted to combat this pandemic shall continue.

Afterwards, the cabinet looked into the topics on its agenda as follows:

The cabinet approved a draft law on the Shura Council's electoral system, and referred it to the Shura Council. Preparing the draft law comes in the framework of completing the state's constitutional requirements to elect Shura Council members, in implementation of the directives of HH the Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani on holding Shura elections in October, during the speech His Highness gave at the Opening of the 49th Shura Council Session on November 3 of 2020. The draft law was prepared under the supervision of the higher committee preparing for the Shura Council elections, chaired by H.E. the Prime Minister and Minister of Interior in line with Amiri decision no. 47 of 2019 establishing the committee and defining its powers. The provisions of the draft law came in line with the State of Qatar's permanent constitution, with an electoral system law set to be released that will determine the conditions and requirements to run for the elections.

The draft law includes provisions related to the following:

  • The conditions candidates must satisfy to be able to run, based on the constitution and legal rules of constitutional nature.
  • Allowing government employees to nominate themselves for membership in the Shura Council while preserving their jobs and promotions throughout their membership, as well as permitting members of all military agencies, both military and civilians, to vote, in order to expand the base of participation.
  • Facilitating the process of registering in the voters' lists, including the possibility of applying for registration electronically.
  • Regulating the process of complaints against registration in voters' lists and judicial appeals against decisions of the committees of voters and candidates
  • Setting controls regarding electoral advertising, including setting a maximum of QR 2 million for the candidate's spending limit on electoral advertising, with oversight over this spending and its sources of financing.
  • To oblige the competent municipalities to ensure equal access of candidates to places where advertisements or electoral statements are placed, and to allocate equal spaces for the candidates.
  • Setting obligations for candidates when conducting election campaigning, including respecting the provisions of the constitution, maintaining national unity and maintaining the security of society, avoiding any rhetoric that is tribal or sectarian tendency, or what conflicts with public morals, prevailing traditions, or the religious and social values of society or offending the other candidate or others, or stirring up tribal or sectarian strife among citizens in any way.
  • Ensuring public and private media are impartial in their coverage and treatment of all candidates, and when covering the elections.
  • Banning the candidacy of ministers, members of the judiciary, and members of all military agencies from among the military, and members of the Central Municipal Council.
  • Allow everyone with an interest to challenge candidates' nominations.
  • Ensuring judicial supervision of elections, through a committee to supervise the voting and counting process, and announce the results, headed by a judge chosen by the Supreme Judicial Council.
  • Ensuring the right of candidates and their agents to follow the electoral process, attend the counting process, and announce the result.
  • Assigning the ruling regarding the merit of challenges to the validity of the election to the Court of Cassation.
  • Establishing severe penalties for electoral offences, especially if one of the candidates receives support from a foreign person or a foreign entity.
  • Putting in place heavy penalties to guarantee freedom of voting and combating vote-buying or compromising the integrity of the elections.

The cabinet then took all the necessary measures to issue a draft law on establishing a court for investment and commerce.

The draft law was prepared in the framework of developing the justice system and establishing an attractive investment climate, in line with the state's other steps in that field. The cabinet approved the requirements for establishing the court, which includes allocating an independent headquarters and a separate budget for the court, and appointing a judicial team and trained cadre for the court.

The cabinet also approved a draft law regulating parking spots and referred it to the Shura Council. The law determined public parking as places determined by the designated municipality, in coordination with the designated authorities. These places are dedicated to parking vehicles. The designated municipality regulates these areas. As for private parking, they belong to people or entities and can be used to park vehicles after gaining a license from the designated municipality.

RELATED: What is the Shura Council of Qatar and what does it do?

Source: QNA
Cover image credit: Shutterstock