Qatar's Constitution, passed in 2003, stipulates two-thirds of the 45-member council will be elected while the remaining third is to be named by the emir. No elections have yet to be held.
"Some clauses of the Constitution could not be implemented due to the developmental challenges that the country is facing and to the turmoil in the region," al-Thani, the country's emir, said. "The objective is to set up a modern and economically independent state -- a state that could take its political decisions independently and is able to invest its wealth in any country it wishes."
Since he assumed power in 1995, the country's gross domestic product has soared from $8.1 billion to $126.98 billion and the per-capita income has gone from $16,164 to more than $74,721.