Briefing Paper

An autumn of elections in the Gulf

In the heat of the 'Arab Spring' five electoral processes have been held in states that form part of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). However, neither the international news media nor electoral analysts have paid much attention to these elections. At OPEMAM, we wish to underline the importance of these elections - in spite of their idiosyncrasies and shortcomings - amidst the wave of changes affecting the entire region.

The first of these five elections, for the Central Municipal Council of Qatar on 10 May 2011, have already been the subject of an Election Report published on 24 June. Although held on time, at the close of the Council's established four year mandate, the elections were announced hastily against the backdrop of the protests taking place in neighbouring countries of the GCC. They were also held following yet another deferment of the legislative elections slated to be held (and long overdue) ever since the country's constitution was passed in 19992

The four next elections, held in September and October 2011 will be the subject of upcoming detailed election reports. In this analysis, each one will be commented on briefly.

This publication was made possible thanks to funding from the Spanish Agency for International Cooperation and Development (AECID) .