DOHA, Qatar — Qatar wraps up its first legislative election with reports of a solid turnout, even though the vote is not expected to shift power away from the emir.
The vote is for 30 members of the 45-strong Shura Council, a body with limited powers that was previously appointed by the emir as an advisory chamber.
The count got underway straight after the close of polls. Results are expected before 11 p.m. local time.
More than a third of the 101 candidates dropped out of the race by this afternoon, state television reported, apparently to support rival candidates.
“Where candidates realized that they have no shot to win a seat, they decided to endorse other candidates,” says King’s College London associate professor Andreas Krieg.
After the withdrawals, there were 183 candidates in contention for the 30 elected seats.
The remaining 15 will be appointed by the emir, although it is not known when they will be announced, or when the council will meet.