World

Voters in small Gulf nation of Qatar have rare chance to cast ballots for municipal council

  • A Qatari man casts his vote for municipal elections at a polling station in Doha, Qatar,Wednesday, May 13, 2015. Voters in Qatar are casting ballots in a rare election in the tiny Gulf nation for members of a municipal council. Wednesday's balloting was the fifth such vote held in the history of Qatar, the oil and natural gas-rich country that will host the 2022 World Cup. (AP Photo/Osama Faisal)

    A Qatari man casts his vote for municipal elections at a polling station in Doha, Qatar,Wednesday, May 13, 2015. Voters in Qatar are casting ballots in a rare election in the tiny Gulf nation for members of a municipal council. Wednesday's balloting was the fifth such vote held in the history of Qatar, the oil and natural gas-rich country that will host the 2022 World Cup. (AP Photo/Osama Faisal)  (The Associated Press)

  • Qatari men wait to vote in the municipal elections at a polling station in Doha, Qatar,Wednesday, May 13, 2015. Voters in Qatar are casting ballots in a rare election in the tiny Gulf nation for members of a municipal council. Wednesday's balloting was the fifth such vote held in the history of Qatar, the oil and natural gas-rich country that will host the 2022 World Cup. (AP Photo/Osama Faisal)

    Qatari men wait to vote in the municipal elections at a polling station in Doha, Qatar,Wednesday, May 13, 2015. Voters in Qatar are casting ballots in a rare election in the tiny Gulf nation for members of a municipal council. Wednesday's balloting was the fifth such vote held in the history of Qatar, the oil and natural gas-rich country that will host the 2022 World Cup. (AP Photo/Osama Faisal)  (The Associated Press)

  • Qatari men wait to vote in the municipal elections at a polling station in Doha, Qatar,Wednesday, May 13, 2015. Voters in Qatar are casting ballots in a rare election in the tiny Gulf nation for members of a municipal council. Wednesday's balloting was the fifth such vote held in the history of Qatar, the oil and natural gas-rich country that will host the 2022 World Cup. (AP Photo/Osama Faisal)

    Qatari men wait to vote in the municipal elections at a polling station in Doha, Qatar,Wednesday, May 13, 2015. Voters in Qatar are casting ballots in a rare election in the tiny Gulf nation for members of a municipal council. Wednesday's balloting was the fifth such vote held in the history of Qatar, the oil and natural gas-rich country that will host the 2022 World Cup. (AP Photo/Osama Faisal)  (The Associated Press)

Voters in Qatar are casting ballots in a rare election in the tiny Gulf nation for members of a municipal council.

Wednesday's balloting was the fifth such vote held in the history of Qatar, the oil and natural gas-rich country that will host the 2022 World Cup.

Authorities say more than half of the 21,000 registered voters have cast ballots. Some 110 candidates, only five of them women, are running.

The 29-seat council deals with local issues, covers the whole country and is Qatar's only directly elected body. Elections for the country's main legislative body, the Shura Council, had been expected in 2013 but never took place.