Cabinet Defers FNC Debate on the Impact of Global Downturn

ABU DHABI - The UAE government said on Tuesday that it has decided to deny, for now, the Federal National Council (FNC) a chance to debate the global financial crisis and its impact on the country’s economic health.

By Adel Arafah

Published: Thu 23 Apr 2009, 1:38 AM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 9:17 AM

Minister of State for FNC Affairs Dr. Anwar Gargash told the council that the government had opted to delay rather than reject the discussion, which although against the constitution, was common practice.

Gargash said the scale of the crisis was quite serious and that the cabinet ministers were concerned that any comments made during a council debate might negatively affect the economy.

Some members of the council called the cabinet decision unconstitutional.

Council member Abdullah Nasser said the government’s stance towards the crisis showed a lack of transparency. “The house’s mission is to draw the attention of the government to the issue,” he said.

Council member Sultan Saqr Al Suwaidi said the council must discuss the downturn and its impact on the community: “The government has decided to postpone the discussion of some topics in the FNC such as the issue of national identity, prices and demographical structure, althoughthey areimportant issues to be discussed freely.”

Council member Yusuf Al Nuaimi cited constitution law which did not allow the government to delay the discussion — only to accept or refuse the council’s request. “The refusal must be according to the articles and the text of the constitutionin the higher interest of the federation, which makes this delay unconstitutional,” Al Nuaimi said. “The FNC hasno objectionto discussing the crisisinclosed sessions.’’

Minister of Economy Eng. Sultan Al Mansouri recently said the UAE had overcome 90 per cent of the financial crisis, which council member Dr. Abdul Rahim Shaheen said made for an appropriate time to discuss the issue in the best interests of the country.

“The UAE parliamentary division succeeded in including the discussion of the global financial crisis on the agenda of the Inter-Parliamentary Union, which means itis necessary to discuss the crisis within the FNC immediately,” Shaheen said.

Other council members said the government had the right to postpone the decision.

With inputs from Wam


THE Ministry of Interior is creating a special department of legal culture to educate the public on the law.

Minister of Interior Lt. General Shaikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan, speaking at a session of the Federal National Council on Tuesday, said the new departmentwould be launched by June thisyear.

“The aim of thisdepartment is to educate members of the community about laws of particular concern to spare themselves the pain of violating the law under the prevention is better than cure strategy,’’ he said.

Major General Nasser Al Nuaimi, Secretary General of the Minister’s Office, said thedepartment would focus on schools to raise the youth awareness of the importance of respecting the law.

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