HE the Shura Council Secretary-General Dr Ahmed bin Nasser al-Fadhala affirmed that the first meeting of the elected Council represented a milestone in the Council's march and gradual development and a historical event in the political life of Qatar. During a press meeting held Wednesday, HE al-Fadhala extended his highest thanks and gratitude to His Highness the Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani for completing the first elected Shura Council and consolidating it for democratic work in the country.
He pointed out that with the first ordinary session of the first legislative term, corresponding to the 50th annual ordinary session of the Shura Council, the State will have completed building its constitutional structures and institutions in accordance with the permanent constitution of the country issued in 2003. He congratulated HE Hassan bin Abdullah al-Ghanim for being selected as Speaker of the Shura Council and HE Dr Hamda bint Hassan al-Sulaiti as Deputy Speaker, expressing his belief that they and the rest of the members will lead the Council to what is good in light of the next stage in which legislative responsibility is magnified and requires serious work.
He explained that the establishment of an elected Shura Council in Qatar has received great attention from countries that are interested in achieving democracy and respect for freedoms, and has received great local interest among all segments of Qatari society. He pointed out that the next stage will witness great efforts in the field of legislation, as the Council for the first time exercises the initiative to legislate on its own.
He confirmed that the Council is witnessing diligent work to complete the buildings and constructions of the new headquarters, which consists of two floors and includes a new hall that can accommodate 500 people, a reception hall that accommodates 60 people, and parking spaces that accommodate 400 vehicles. They are also preparing to add new administrative offices in the new building.
Regarding the Council's internal bylaw, HE al-Fadhala said that they are in the process of preparing a draft new internal regulation that matches the Council's new competencies, as well as setting up a functional structure commensurate with the council's financial and administrative independence.
The required numbers of Qatari expertise of both genders will be employed in all sections of the Council as soon as possible, he added.
HE al-Fadhala said that all the minutes of the Council's sessions over the last 49 years will be prepared for the newly elected members in order to familiarise themselves with the legislation dealt with by the Council and its role in it, especially since most members have no previous experience in legislative work.
They also prepared a booklet on the regional and international parliamentary organisations of which the Council is a member, he noted.
Regarding the Council's relationship with the government, HE the secretary-general said that the esteemed government represented in the Cabinet and the various ministries and institutions works in full co-operation and continuous coordination with the Shura Council. There is no overlap in the competencies because the constitution has separated the powers and codified the relationship between the three state agencies in a way that achieves justice and independence, he noted, adding that the Council's supervision of government performance does not mean interfering in the work of other bodies.
HE the secretary-general said that the Council will work to achieve the wise vision of His Highness the Amir regarding the establishment of an elected Shura Council that participates in decision-making, as well as realising the hopes of the Qatari people from the Council. He expressed hope that the next four years will be a legislative chapter full of achievements and a consolidation of democratic work and popular participation.