Qatar is a traditional monarchy headed by the emir, who is the head of state. The government is headed by the prime minister, who is appointed by the emir. A new constitution came into force in 2005, providing for a 45-seat consultative council, two thirds of whose members would be elected and one third appointed by the emir, but it has not yet been established. The previous provisional constitution (1972) called for elections to the 35-seat advisory council (Shura), but none were held. Council members, appointed by the ruling family, have had their terms extended since 2005; elections for the new council are slated for 2013. Administratively, the country is divided into ten municipalities.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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