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Qatar: Government

Government Qatar
Country name:
conventional long form: State of Qatar
conventional short form: Qatar
local short form: Qatar
note: closest approximation of the native pronunciation falls between cutter and gutter, but not like guitar
local long form: Dawlat Qatar
Government type:
traditional monarchy
Capital:
Doha
Administrative divisions:
10 municipalities (baladiyat, singular - baladiyah); Ad Dawhah, Al Ghuwayriyah, Al Jumayliyah, Al Khawr, Al Wakrah, Ar Rayyan, Jarayan al Batinah, Madinat ash Shamal, Umm Sa'id, Umm Salal
Independence:
3 September 1971 (from UK)
National holiday:
Independence Day, 3 September (1971)
Constitution:
provisional constitution enacted 19 April 1972; in July 1999 Amir HAMAD issued a decree forming a committee to draft a permanent constitution; in the 29 April 2003 referendum, 96.6% of Qatari voters approved the new constitution
Legal system:
discretionary system of law controlled by the amir, although civil codes are being implemented; Islamic law dominates family and personal matters
Suffrage:
18 years of age; universal
Executive branch:
chief of state: Amir HAMAD bin Khalifa Al Thani (since 27 June 1995 when, as crown prince, he ousted his father, Amir KHALIFA bin Hamad Al Thani, in a bloodless coup); Crown Prince JASIM bin Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, third son of the monarch (selected crown prince by the monarch 22 October 1996); note - Amir HAMAD also holds the positions of minister of defense and commander-in-chief of the armed forces
head of government: Prime Minister ABDALLAH bin Khalifa Al Thani, brother of the monarch (since 30 October 1996); Deputy Prime Minister MUHAMMAD bin Khalifa Al Thani, brother of the monarch (since 20 January 1998)
cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the monarch
elections: none; the monarch is hereditary
note: in April 2003, Qatar held nationwide elections for a 29-member Central Municipal Council (CMC), which has consultative powers aimed at improving the provision of municipal services; the first election for the CMC was held in March 1999
Legislative branch:
unicameral Advisory Council or Majlis al-Shura (35 seats; members appointed)
note: no legislative elections have been held since 1970 when there were partial elections to the body; Council members have had their terms extended every four years since; the new constitution provides for a 45-member Consultative Council, or Majlis al-Shura; the public would elect two-thirds of the Majlis al-Shura; the amir would appoint the remaining members
Judicial branch:
Court of Appeal
Political parties and leaders:
none
Political pressure groups and leaders:
none
International organization participation:
ABEDA, AFESD, AL, AMF, ESCWA, FAO, G-77, GCC, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICRM, IDB, IFAD, IFRCS, IHO (pending member), ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, ISO (correspondent), ITU, NAM, OAPEC, OAS (observer), OIC, OPCW, OPEC, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WCO, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTrO
Diplomatic representation in the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Badr Umar al-DAFA
telephone: [1] (202) 274-1600
consulate(s) general: Houston
FAX: [1] (202) 237-0061
chancery: 4200 Wisconsin Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20016
Diplomatic representation from the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Maureen E. QUINN
embassy: Al-Luqtas District, 22 February Road, Doha
mailing address: P. O. Box 2399, Doha
telephone: [974] 488 4101
FAX: [974] 488 4298
Flag description:
maroon with a broad white serrated band (nine white points) on the hoist side

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Source: The CIA World Fact Book 2003

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