Arab News Headlines

Qatar’s discriminatory parliamentary elections rules condemned

Manama, Two parliamentary committees have today voiced deep concerns over the Qatari regime’s discriminatory practices in the first ever legislative polls in the country.

Dr. Mubarka Al Merri has applied to run in the elections in the 16th constituency only to be excluded from the candidates’ register without giving her any reasons.

The Qatari authorities did not allow Dr. Al Merri to challenge the arbitrary decision to bar her from running and participating in the parliamentary polls.

In a joint statement, Human Rights, Women and Childhood Committees condemned the arbitrary exclusion of Dr. Al Merri, which contravenes the principles of equality in exercising political and full citizenship rights.

They stressed the necessity to allow all citizens – men and women – in Qatar to exercise their political rights through free and honest elections and challenge such decisions before the judiciary.

They underlined the importance for Qatari women to exercise their political rights without any discrimination or violation of the principle of equality before the law.

The State of Qatar had issued the law on parliamentary elections giving “native” citizens full right to run and vote in the elections and granting some “naturalized” citizens the right to vote only, while denying other “naturalized” Qataris the right either to run or vote.

The committees condemned in their joint statement the discriminatory measures which amount to a blatant violation of citizens’ inalienable right to exercise their political rights.

They stressed people’s legitimate right to exercise their political rights, including running and voting, which represents the cornerstone of democracy, through legislations that stipulate equality between citizens and regulate rights without any arbitrary or illegal exclusion.

“Parliaments represent the sovereignty and will of the people”, said the statement, adding that the state is obligated to guarantee these rights to all individuals within its territory and within its jurisdiction – without any discrimination based on race, colour, sex, language, religion, opinion, origin, wealth, kinship or any other reasons, in compliance with international charters and covenants.

Source: Bahrain News Agency