The National Human Rights Committee (NHRC) organised a seminar to mobilise citizen participation in the Central Municipal Council Elections, set to take place on June 22 of this year.
NHRC Deputy Chairman Eng Dr Mohamed bin Saif al-Kuwari presented a paper during the seminar in which he said that Qatar's 2004 permanent constitution included articles that guaranteed the citizens' right to vote. He explained that the permanent constitution of Qatar affirmed in Article 6 of it that the state works to implement all international conventions, covenants and covenants to which it is a party, and accordingly, many principles and rules related to the right to vote can be derived from human rights conventions, to which the state has become a party. It constitutes an important source for strengthening the national legal framework governing the electoral process.
He noted that there are groups that need to overcome the obstacles that prevent them from exercising the right to vote and their poor representation, such as people with disabilities, women, youth and the elderly, pointing out that international and regional human rights agreements have approved the principle of equality and non-discrimination between citizens in enjoying the rights to participate in the management of public affairs, either directly or through freely chosen representatives, and the right to elect and be elected, as the human rights conventions concerned with these groups have approved their electoral rights in many of their provisions.
He presented a number of proposals that could lead to the effective realisation of the right to vote, most notably the use of information and communication technology as new tools for participation in the electoral process and expanding its scope, while keeping in mind its harmful impact that include the dissemination of false information, in addition to promoting a culture of electoral participation, empowering the most vulnerable groups, especially university students and youth institutions, and inviting these bodies to carry out their responsibilities in this field, such as engaging in public discussions with students about the importance of participating, as well as enabling citizens outside the country to exercise their electoral right.
For his part, Member of the Legal Committee for the Central Municipal Council elections Saleh Jassem al-Mohammadi said that voter registration lists took place from April 30 to May 4. The voting areas were also determined in co-ordination with the Ministry of Education and Higher Education. A total of 29 public schools will host the elections for the 29 electoral districts.
He added that the Supervisory Committee for the Central Municipal Council elections said that May 7 will witness the announcement of the preliminary, and on the same day the stage of receiving appeals and grievances begins, which extends until May 11 of 2023, and adjudication of appeals and grievances will take place during the period from May 8 to May 18 of 2023; and then the stage of announcing the final lists of voters on May 21.
He noted that the Supervisory Committee for the Central Municipal Council elections decided to start the stage of receiving nomination applications from May 21 to May 25, 2023, provided that the announcement of the preliminary lists of candidates takes place on May 28, 2023.
He explained that the Supervisory Committee for the Central Municipal Council elections had decided to start the stage of receiving appeals and grievances against the lists of preliminary candidates on May 28, and continue until June 5, and then the process of appeals begins during the period from May 29 to June 8, and then the announcement of the final lists of candidates will be on June 11.
NHRC Deputy Chairman Eng Dr Mohamed bin Saif al-Kuwari presented a paper during the seminar.