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Qatar: 2013 Parliamentary Election Date Announced

Qatar today announced it will hold parliamentary elections in the second half of 2013. The announcement was made by the Qatari Emir Shaikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani and welcomed by netizens, who hope that Qatar's support for the Arab revolutions is shaping a new tomorrow for Qataris.

Qatari Nawaf Al Thani remarks:

@NawafAlthani: Free elections , support of freedoms around the world a strong economy .. May it be known that the era of Pax Qatara Has started . #Qatar

Doha-based Foreign Policy editor Blake Hounshell reminds us:

@blakehounshell: The interesting thing about Qatar announcing elections is that there has been very little popular pressure to this effect

And Qatari journalist Abdulla Al Amadi [ar] starts planning:

أول انتخابات تشريعية في قطر عام2013 .. مدة كافية للتجهيز والإعداد ، والتحدي الأكبر في تغيير ثقافة المجتمع ونظرته لمثل هذه الانتخابات
@Abdulla_Alamadi: The first parliamentary elections will be held in Qatar in 2013. There is enough time to prepare for that. The biggest challenge will be to change our society's culture and its stance towards such elections.

Saudi Ahmed Al Zahrani laments [ar]:

يبدو ان دعم قطر للثورات العربية، قد انعكست بشكل ايجابي على تفكير الحكومة في حق تقرير المصير لشعوبهم،ونحن هنا لانملك الا الدعاء ‎#Qatar‏ ‎#Saudi
@A_Alzahrani: It seems that the Qatari support for the Arab revolutions is reflecting positively on the mentality of the government in allowing the people to determine their destiny. All we have [as Saudis] is our prayer.

And Mortadha Abdulla adds [ar]:

اكتشفت ان القطريين طماعين.. ما شكروا أميرهم الا على اعلانه عن انتخابات تشريعية مايشوفونا (السعوديين) نشكر ملكنا على… ولا شي ‎#Saudi‏ ‎#Qatar
@mortadha_a: I have discovered that the Qataris are greedy. They only thanked their Emir after he announced legislative elections in Qatar. Don't they see us (the Saudis). We thank our King … for [giving us] nothing

UAE-based journalist Tom Gara jokes:

@tomgara: Qatar is so rich its 2013 parliamentary elections will also elect the parliaments of Greece, France, Libya and 19 US states.

And Mona Kareem, a stateless person from Kuwait, attempts another joke:

@monakareem: #Qatar 2013 elections must be an Iranian conspiracy to embarrass #Saudi authorities!

At present, Qatar has a 35-member Advisory Council, appointed by the Emir, which shares some of the country's legislative power.

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