Qatar’s Emir Shiekh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani said his country is moving ahead to establish a full- fledged parliament within a period of one-and-a-half years, reported the daily Al-Watan newspaper.
“The decentralization of authorities is in the interest of my country and citizens,” the emir was quoted as saying in an interview with the German Radio Sunday, following the departure of the German President who paid an official visit to the Gulf state.
“I think we should follow in the footsteps of other countries working for the welfare of their citizens,” the emir told the radio.
Sheikh Hamad announced in November 1998 that he was planning to set up a permanent constitution under which the gas-rich Gulf Arab country would have an elected parliament, said AFP.
Qatar held its first municipal elections in March 1999, with women allowed to participate.
Neighboring Bahrain, with whom Qatar is embroiled in a land dispute, has recently launched a democratization drive – Albawaba.com