Constitution: All Qataris are NOT Created Equal

Some Qatari intellectuals and candidates have criticised the electoral law which they say denies full political rights to citizens, days ahead of the Central Municipal Council's elections.

The exclusion of seven candidates, all naturalised Qataris, from the electoral contest stirred a heated debate over the electoral law, which a growing part of the community deems as unconstitutional.

"The electoral law conceived for the election of the Central Municipal Council (CMC) discriminates against part of our society and is creating discontent," Abdullah, a candidate who asked for his family name not to be mentioned, told Gulf News.

"The problem is that the citizenship law discriminates between pure and naturalised Qataris and the electoral law reflects that principle. This is totally against the new constitution of 2003, which grants full political rights to all Qatari citizens," he added.

Professor Hasan Al Sayed, acting director of the Law Faculty at Qatar University explained the legislation differs between pure Qataris, who were born in Qatar by Qatari parents living in the country before 1930, and naturalised Qataris, who emigrated to Qatar and obtained nationality here.

The electoral law states that "pure Qataris" can take part in the municipal elections as candidates and voters, while "naturalised Qataris" can vote only if they have been citizens for over 10 years and can run as a candidate only if their father was born in Qatar.

"As a result, seven candidates were excluded from the electoral fray because they did not meet this requirement. From a legal point of view the electoral law is against the constitution, which states that every Qatari citizen has a right to exercise full political rights," Professor Al Sayed told Gulf News.

"We [the legal experts] ask that the electoral law is amended to abide by the Constitution. With parliamentary elections looming naturalized Qataris risk being excluded from that contest," he said.

Qataris will vote for the CMC's third term on April 1 but the election is considered a test for Qatari democracy as the country awaits its parliamentary elections.

However, Dr Yahia Al Jamal, former minister of Egypt, who was involved in drafting Qatar's constitution, warned a small country such as Qatar should not extend its citizenship and consequently the right to vote too easily.

"There is a risk of jeopardizing the identity of the country and its society," he said.

Source: comments: Qataris, both pure and naturalised, can at least come together to agree that non-Qataris ESPECIALLY Asians are for exploitation.


There is defendly somthing not right about Qataris

I'm very disappointed coming to Qatar , seeing for my self how little Islam these people have and how they act like they are better then others.....well look at Mr. " what do u know" cussing about everything , that proofs us right about Qataris, no manners, they don't know how to interact with the "normal" folks, I can say that out of experience . Really to bad!!!! But here and there , there are some "good" Qataris in between, allhamdulillah.

Yeah! the world should know about Qatar

People planning to move in Qatar for employment should get aware of each negative sides, the cruelty and the discrimination espcially towards employees of asian's-3rd world countries and other non-GCC arabs! Then its upto the applicant to decide weither to take the risk and and go!

And hey! you..."mr. what do u know"! you want me to tell you what i know about your country and your people and how we expats were treated in your masha'allah rich country! I was personally treated inhumanly by your authority! you know what I did to deserve those? NOTHING! I only applied for a govt. jobs your CID-dept. refuse to give me clearance NOT because i was a criminal or having any criminal records anywhere. I can accept that and understand that the post must be given priority to local qataris, deport people who's family also in Qatar? is just totally INHUMAN! you know that they deport me while i was fasting on the month of Ramadhan? our holy month and you Qatari's holy month too! I beg them to allow me spend w/ my family during eid only then i'll leave, but those morons were just laughing and treating us like piece of shit! oh, I misss my 3 kids who's living now with their mother and my inlaws. I wish God will change the world and you....Mr. "what do u know", will come into my country with your family and we will kick your ass out and let you feel how i feel now. Really, Qatarsucks!

Republished Comment in Reaction to this Story

Interesting how the Qataris...
Submitted by Completely Anonymous User on Mon, 2007-04-02 20:23.

Interesting how the Qataris seem to care about political rights when it is other Qataris being discriminated. Got to start somewhere I suppose.