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Qatar's Political System

Qatar is a monarchy ruled by the Al Thani clan, and the political power lies in the reality of the country's emir. The country has no elected parliament, but an advisory assembly whose representatives are appointed by the emir. The country's only elected body is a central council consisting of one representative from each of 29 constituencies with limited political influence.

Political System of Qatar

Constitution

Qatar got its first provisional constitution ahead of the independence from Britain in 1971, and it was revised one year later. The country was then given a new constitution in 2003 which came into force in 2005. According to this, Qatar is a unified state and still quite absolute monarchy. The head of state, the emir, has the supreme executive power and in practice also the legislative and constitutional functions and is the military commander in chief. See ABBREVIATIONFINDER for how QA can stand for Qatar.

Head of State and National Assembly

Traditionally, the emir has also been prime minister, but in 1996 the then emir, Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani appointed a younger brother to the prime minister. The government has traditionally been dominated by members of the Al Thani family, but this has subsequently been abandoned and a minority of ministers today belong to the Al Thani family.

The new Constitution of 2005 stipulates a separation of the legislative and executive power, and the establishment of a popularly elected national assembly, Majlis al-Shura. It has 45 members still nominated by the Emir. Elections to the National Assembly have been postponed several times, and will take place at the earliest in 2019. However, the Emir retains real power. An advisory assembly of 29 members was first elected in 1999, and elections have been held every four years since. Women have had the right to vote since the first election.

There are no political parties in Qatar. The ruling family is large, and peaceful palace coups have taken place several times, most recently in 1995, when Hamad Al Thani took power from his father Khalifa bin Hamad Al Thani. At this time, Hamad had a great influence on the country's politics for many years. He abdicated in 2013, handing over the throne to his son Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani.

Judiciary

Under the new constitution, the former civil and Islamic courts are united. The Constitution is independent of the Constitution and operates on the basis of codified law. By the way, Muslims can use Islamic Sharia courts to settle personal disputes.

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