The Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, recently approved the first democratic elections for the Parliament [Shura Council] to be held in October 2021. In the past, the prince himself has appointed the 45 council members. Now he’s ready to allow the popular election of 30 representatives to the council. The remaining 15 he will still appoint. This is the first phase of democratization that will take place in Qatar in particular, and in the Persian Gulf in general. It is no secret that Qatar has always supported human rights, individual freedom, and the right to self-determination for all peoples.
Ostensibly this is a very positive leap for democracy in Qatar, a closed country that does not have the freedoms enjoyed by the West, but is overseen by a high-powered prince. Many have argued that these reforms are intended for the West, mainly due to the approach of the World Cup to be held in Qatar next year.
Either way, the Arabs always get in trouble when they try to bring democratization. Condoleezza Rice at the time...
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