Controversy in Qatar over electoral legislation’s exclusion of tribe

An argument is unfolding in Qatar over one tribe’s anger at an election legislation. 

Qatar’s first-ever elections for its parliament, the Consultative Assembly, will happen in October following a number of years of delays. Qatar’s emir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, authorized the legal guidelines governing the election final week. Anyone 18-years-old and over with a grandfather born in Qatar can vote. To run, candidates will should be of Qatari origin and have turned 30. 

The controversy stems from the Qatari origin requirement for candidates. This stipulation prohibits members of the Al Murrah tribe from working within the election, BBC Arabic reported Monday. 

The Al Murrah tribe lives in each Qatar and Saudi Arabia, and has traditionally had a fractious relationship with the Qatari state. In 1995, the then-emir of Qatar, Khalifa bin Hamad Al Thani, was deposed in a cold coup by his son, Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani (whose son is the present emir).

 In 1996, Khalifa bin Hamad Al Thani allegedly tried a return to energy, supported by the Al Murrah tribe. Qatar alleges that Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain performed a job within the 1996 plot to return Emir Khalifa to energy.

The fraught relationship between Al Murrah and Doha has continued within the 21st century. In 2005, 1000’s of Al Murrah tribespeople have been stripped of their citizenship by the Qatari authorities. During the Qatar diplomatic disaster in 2017, Al Murrah chief Sheikh Taleb bin Lahom bin Shreim referred to as Qatar’s authorities a “a source of haven for terrorists” and accused them of being too near Iran in an interview with Saudi Arabia’s Al-Arabiya information outlet. 

Supporters of the tribe at the moment are once more indignant on the authorities over the electoral legislation. On Monday, the Arabic-language hashtag “Al_Marrah_was_Qatar_before_the_government” trended on Twitter as customers defended the tribe and its longstanding roots in Qatar. A Monday video exhibiting members of the tribe denouncing the federal government for racism was considered greater than 200,000 occasions on the social media web site. 

Some of these commenting on social media have been Saudi critics of the Qatari authorities. In 2017, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt closed their borders to and severed relations with Qatar, accusing their neighbor of supporting terrorism. The dispute associated to Qatar’s assist for the Muslim Brotherhood and relations with Iran. The so-called anti-terror quartet and Qatar formally ended the dispute in January and have been patching up relations since. 

The difficulty heated up Sunday when Qatar’s Interior Ministry introduced the referral of seven individuals to prosecutors for “publishing fake news” and inciting “racial and tribal arrogance” on social media, in response to a ministry press launch. The motion was associated to the election difficulty, in response to BBC Arabic. 


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