CHAPTER I THE STATE AND THE PRINCIPLES OF GOVERNING
Qatar is an Arab State, sovereign and independent. Its religion is Islam, and the Islamic Law is the main source of its legislations. Its system is democratic, and its official language is the Arabic language. The people of Qatar are part of the Arab Nation.
The Capital of the State is Al-Douha. It may be replaced by any other location by law. The State exercises its sovereignty on its territory. It shall not relinquish its sovereignty nor cede any part of its territory.
The law stipulates the State flag, its emblem, its decorations, its badges, and its national anthem.
The law determines the financial and banking system of the State and indicates its official currency.
The State preserves its independence, sovereignty, safety and integrity of its territory, security and stability and defends itself against every aggression.
The State respects the international charters and treaties and works on executing all international agreements, charters and treaties to which it is a party.
The foreign policy of the State is based on the principle of maintaining international peace and security by encouraging the settlement of international disputes by peaceful means, and supporting the people’s right to self-determination and non-interference in internal affairs of the State, and cooperation with peace-loving nations.
The rule of the State is hereditary in the family of Al Thani, and in the male descendents of Hamad Ben Khalifa Ben Hamad Ben Abd-Allah Ben Jassim. Inheritance of the rules goes to the son designated by the Prince (Emir) as Heir Apparent.
If there is no son, the rule passes to the family member designated by the Prince as Heir Apparent, and in this case, the rule inheritance goes to his male descendents.
All provisions pertinent to the State rule and its inheritance are regulated by special law to be issued within a year from the date this Constitution is put into force and to have a constitutional aspect.
The Prince appoints the Heir Apparent by a Princely Order after consultation with the Ruling Family and the notables in the Country. The Heir Apparent must be a Moslem, from a Qatari Moslem mother.
On his appointment before this Prince, the Heir Apparent takes the following oath:
“I swear by God, the Great, to respect the Islamic Law, the Constitution, and the Law, and to maintain the independence of the Country, and to safeguard its territorial integrity, and to protect the People’s freedoms and interests, and to be loyal to the Homeland and the Prince.”
The Heir Apparent assumes the powers of the Prince and performs his functions on his behalf during the Prince’s absence outside the Country or in the case of temporary impediment.
The Prince may, by a Princely Order, assign the exercise of some of his powers and the assumption of some of his functions to the Heir Apparent. The Heir Apparent presides over the sessions of the Council of Ministers which he attends.
Taking into consideration the provisions of the two preceding articles, when it is impossible for the Heir Apparent to represent the Prince, the Prince may appoint, by a Princely Order, his Deputy from the Ruling Family to perform some of his powers and functions. If the appointee occupies a post or performs a job in any institution, he ceases to perform his functions during his deputation of the Prince.
Immediately after being appointed, the Prince Deputy takes, before the Prince, the same oath taken by the Heir Apparent.
A council named “Council of the Ruling Family” is established by a Decision of the Prince. The Prince appoints its members from the Ruling Family.
The Council of the Ruling Family determines the vacancy of the Prince’s post in case of his death or his total disability to perform his functions. The Council of Ministers and the Advisory Council (Majlis-al Shura) announce the vacancy of the post following a secret joint session and declare the Heir Apparent as Prince of the Country.
If the Heir Apparent is less than eighteen years of age when declared as the Country’s Prince, according to the Gregorian calendar, a Regency Council established by the Council of the Ruling Family assumes the steerage of ruling.
The Regency Council is composed of a Chairman and a number of Members not less than three and not more than five. The Chairman and the majority of the Members shall be from the Ruling Family.
The Prince’s financial remunerations, as well as the funds allocated for gifts and assistances, are determined annually by a decision made by the Prince.