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.
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
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.
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