The elections of the members of Qatar's Central Municipal Council (CMC) that took place on 10 May, are the fourth such to be held since the council was first elected in 1999. The CMC is, furthermore, the only Qatari institution whose members are elected by Qatari citizens. Having said that, although elections for the National Consultative Council (whose members are currently designated by the Emir) have been announced on numerous occasions since 2003, when the country's new constitution was promulgated, these have never actually taken place, nor are they likely to do so in the short or medium term, despite the growing media pressure that is sweeping the Arab world since January 2011.
Despite it having purely local authority, the CMC is a single body at national level, made up of 29 members who have no executive powers and whose role is limited to advising the Ministry of Municipal Affairs on problems that arise between the ten municipalities that make up the country. Despite the interest shown by the Qatari authorities in putting on exemplary elections on all four occasions (1999, 2003, 2007 and 2011), the interest shown by citizens has not been comparable, with a very low rate both of registration on the electoral roll and voter turnout.