Voters approved their nation’s first real constitution Tuesday -- a move toward democratic rule in a country where the emir has held absolute power since independence from Britain in 1971.
The constitutional referendum was approved by 96.6% of the voters, Qatar’s Interior minister, Prince Hamad bin Nasser Al Thani, announced four hours after polls closed.
The constitution envisages a 45-member parliament, of which 30 will be elected in polls where women may run and vote. The remaining 15 -- and the Cabinet -- will be appointed by the emir.
However, legislators will have the right to question Cabinet ministers, enact legislation and vote on the national budget.