The past few days have witnessed the withdrawal of a number of candidates from the Shura Council elections, bringing the total down from 284 to at least 248.
Dozens of candidates have withdrawn from the Shura Council elections race across several electoral districts, just a week ahead of the historic vote.
Withdrawal, or a renunciation of candidacy is permitted and is a right for candidates as long as the withdrawal comes seven days ahead of voting day on 2 October. So far, 36 people, approximately 15% of the total number of candidates in the announced final list, have withdrawn from the race, according to local Al Sharq.
District three alone witnessed the withdrawal of five candidates: Ibrahim Youssef Ibrahim Badr Al Badr, Rashid Majid Khalifa Al Shaheen Al Sulaiti, Abdulaziz Ahmed Muhammad Al-Farahid Al Malki, Mubarak Abdulallah Muhammad Saad Al Sulaiti, and Muhammad Ibrahim Ahmed Al Malki. Four dropped out of the race in the past few hours.
Now, the number of candidates gone down from 284 to 248, including 27 women as one woman has withdrawn.
Last week, authorities announced the finalised candidates for Qatar’s Shura Council elections, providing just two weeks for campaigning.
To be eligible for nomination, candidates must be originally Qatari and aged 30 and above by the closing date of the nomination. They must also be fluent in reading and writing in Arabic.
Those who hold ministerial and military positions – state, judicial bodies, ministers of state, Central Municipal Council – cannot nominate themselves.
Candidates working at ministries or other government entities whose names are included in the final lists of candidates are given unpaid leave throughout the elections if they do not have a sufficient leave balance.
The elected Shura Council will have legislative authority and will be able to approve general state policies and their budgets. It will also exercise control over the executive, except for bodies defining defence, security, economic, and investment policy.
All members of the Council have the right to propose legislative bills, and all proposals must be referred to a relevant committee to be analysed.
This committee will then submit any and all recommendations to the Council which will decide on whether it agrees with the amendments. This will then be submitted as a draft to the government which will study the text and provides an opinion before returning the feedback to the Council.
The Shura Council has the right to forward proposals relative to public matters to the government. However, if the government is unable to comply with such aspirations, it must give its reasons to the Council.
The law states a Council member shall not be reprimanded for opinions and statements expressed before the rest of the members and the committees, while maintaining objective interests for the country without exploiting their position.
All registered voters across all electoral districts will be called to cast their votes for the much-awaited elections on 2 October.
Qatari citizens will be able to vote for a total of 30 members out of the 45 in a general ballot, with Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani selecting the remaining 15.