Matar bin Shaheen Al Kuwari
DOHA: The Central Municipal Council (CMC) yesterday picked its new secretary-general through a secret ballot.
A woman was among the six candidates who were shortlisted for the administrative slot. But the victor was a male, Matar bin Shaheen Al Kuwari.
This is the first time since its inception in early 1999 that the civic representative body has elected the incumbent for the key administrative position.
Some 27 of the 29 CMC members took part in the proceedings. Before voting, they held a brief meeting presided over by Chairman, Saud Al Hanzab.
According to a CMC member who spoke to this newspaper on grounds of anonymity, there was consensus among members that Al Kuwari was the best among the six applicants.
“The voting took place through a secret ballot after our brief meeting and all of us voted for Al Kuwari,” the member said.
A committee was set up earlier to oversee the process of selecting the “right” candidate for the job.
Al Kuwari, 39, holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration and international trade from the University of California.
He heads the Department of Training and Administrative Development at Katara.
Earlier, he was a senior employee of the municipal ministry under which the CMC falls.
The CMC will now forward its recommendations to the Minister of Municipality and Urban Planning to formally approve the appointment of Al Kuwari as its secretary-general.
The last secretary-general had to go some six months ago following a clash with the chairman over overlapping of their authority.
According to the law that regulates the CMC, the secretary-general is accountable to the chairman.
However, recommendations have been made to amend the law and pave the way for setting up a committee that would be headed by the CMC chairman to which the secretary-general should report to avoid a rift between the two in future.
Al Kuwari said after being declared a winner in the vote that he was aware of his responsibilities and will carry out his duty to the best of his effort.
The CMC remains a male-dominated representative body with a lone woman, Sheikha Al Jefairi, being its member for the second consecutive term. The CMC has a four-year term.