NEC underlines broad participation in FNC election

Filed on August 10, 2011

DUBAI-- The National Election Committee (NEC) discussed the preparations of the Election Management Committee for the Federal National Council elections at the 7th committee meeting chaired by Dr Anwar Mohammed Gargash, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Minister of State for Federal National Council Affairs and Chairman of the NEC.

The Committee discussed several aspects including the preparations for polling stations, the electronic voting system, and the registration of candidates to be held from August 14 to 17. Members of NEC, the Election Management Committee, chief editors of local newspapers and columnists attended the meeting.

The Committee also reviewed a detailed report on the preparations for the 13 polling stations in the UAE. The number of the Electoral College, geographical distribution, and ease of access to the centers for the public were taken into account in deciding the distribution of the polling stations. The committee also discussed the details of how to design the centers, and the steps to be taken from the moment the voter arrives until he departs.

There will be four polling stations in Abu Dhabi at Abu Dhabi Exhibition Centre, Al Ain, Western region and the fourth polling station to be determined later; two in Dubai at Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre and Dubai World Trade Centre; three in Sharjah at Sharjah Expo Centre, Meleiha and khorfakkan; and one polling station in Ras Al Khaimah, Fujairah, Ajman and Umm Al Quwain, each.

“The significant increase in the number of the Electoral College members underlines the commitment of the UAE and its leadership to further promoting political development, and empowering the Federal National Council (FNC) elections. The broad participation of the Electoral College in the forthcoming elections is essential to supplement FNC with competencies and experiences that meet the aspirations of the UAE people,” said Gargash.

He added: “Wide participation in the 2011 Federal National Council elections is a must, as the participant number will influence the trends of the parliamentary work in future phases. We hope that all members of the Electoral College will exercise their right to vote and choose their representatives practically and logically to activate FNC’s debates in the next legislative term.”

Dr Gargash said that the sub committees of the National Election Committee are finalizing all preparations that will further build on the success achieved during the first electoral experience in 2006.

“We decided to involve the local media to attend the 7th meeting of the NEC to inform them of the latest and ongoing preparations, and our efforts to provide an honorable electoral model for the UAE and its people. The media is a true partner, the mirror of society, and it plays a vital role in strengthening awareness on the political culture among the community,” he added.

The meeting also included a summary of the staff at the polling stations who will contribute to the implementation of the electoral process. The staff include specialist offering technical support and volunteers. NEC has signed a partnership agreement with Takatof to manage and distribute volunteers across all the UAE polling stations to ensure that the electoral process runs smoothly.

The Committee also reviewed a report on electronic voting system chosen by the Election Management Committee, and the voting steps to be followed. The system, which ensures that voters can cast their votes only once, allows the declaration of the results separately as per each Emirate.

The Committee discussed a report on the awareness workshops for the Electoral College in different areas in the UAE. The sessions explained the rules governing the elections, the timetable for elections, the legal framework of the electoral process, and the legal and regulatory mechanisms for the nomination and election.

The NEC meeting discussed the media policy adopted by the 2011 Federal National Council elections. They reviewed the efforts particularly with regard to communicating with the public and strengthening electoral culture among the UAE community.

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