Qatar. According to countryaah, Doha is the capital and one of the major cities within the country of Qatar. A British director was killed in a suicide attack on a theater in the capital Doha on March 19, on the two-year anniversary of the British-American invasion of Iraq. The suicide attack was carried out by an Egyptian computer technician. Three months earlier, the al-Qaeda terror network had urged its supporters to attack in the states of the Persian Gulf.
In April, the Emir, Hamad bin Khalifa, dismissed his chief of staff and two ministers. The three were reportedly suspected of illegal stock trading in connection with the sale of state-owned Qatar Gas Transport Company at the beginning of the year.
A new constitution was passed in a referendum in 2003 and came into force in 2005. It states that Qatar is a democratic state with universal suffrage, and elections to the national assembly. Of 45 members of this advisory parliament – Majlis al-Shura – 35 will be elected; ten is designated by the emir. However, parliamentary elections have not yet been held. In 2011, it was announced that the first would be held in 2013, but this was postponed to 2016. The Emir decided in 2016 to extend the sitting council to 2019. Elections will thus be held at the earliest in 2019. Local elections have been held several times since 2007. Qatar allows not political parties; only independent, independent candidates can stand for election.
Although Qatar is a constitutional monarchy, the practice indicates that it is exercised in a unique system of government, where all power is in reality gathered with the emir. As in other Gulf states, civil rights are reserved for the original population. This means that a large majority of citizens – guest workers from many countries – do not have such rights.
Revenues from oil and gas extraction have enabled social investment to help curb opposition to the emir. Qatar did not experience rebellion during the Arab Spring. The then emir, Hamad ibn Khalifa al-Thani, believed that the ‘Qatari spring’ he started with his liberalization prevented political opposition and rebellion in Qatar. This policy has been passed on by his heir. At the same time, there has been opposition to reforms from conservative sections of society.
Political stability in Qatar was demonstrated by a peaceful shift of power in June 2013. Then sheikh abducted Hamad at her own discretion and transferred the power to her son, sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani. Thus, Qatar also got a young leader (33 years on the accession), unlike many neighboring countries.
Clear political or religious differences are not apparent in Qatar. The country is more religiously homogeneous – with a large Sunni majority – than other countries in the region. Tensions in the Qatari community are most related to the large group of guest workers, most from southern Asia. The country has been internationally criticized for how groups of guest workers have been treated, especially in connection with the development of new infrastructure for the World Cup in 2022. Critical focus is on Qatar, as well as FIFA, also for the awarding of the championship to the golf state, with allegations of corruption.