Candidacy requirements to take part in Qatar’s Shoura Council elections have sparked widespread controversy on social media in the emirate, the BBC has reported.
The Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani, recently ratified an electoral law for the first legislative elections in the country, due to be held in October.
Under the new law, “anyone whose original nationality is Qatari and is 18 years of age and above shall have the right to elect members of the Shoura Council. Those who have acquired Qatari nationality, provided that their grandfather is Qatari and was born in Qatar, shall be excluded from the original nationality condition.”
The law also stipulates that candidates’ “original nationality must be Qatari” and they must also be over 30 years of age.
The conditions for candidacy and election sparked controversy on social media in the country, with the requirement that the candidate must “originally be Qatari” provoking widespread anger.
Some members of the Al-Murrah tribe, who do not meet the required conditions, posted several videos in protest at what they described as the “arbitrary law that prevents them from running for the Shoura Council elections.”
Activists launched the hashtag #Al_Murrah_Qatari_People_Before_the_Government, highlighting that the tribe was in Qatar before a government was ever formed.