‘Elections in September’

ABU DHABI — The country's first parliamentary elections will be held by September, Khaleej Times has reliably learnt.

By Muawia E. Ibrahim And Adel Arafah

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Published: Wed 14 Jun 2006, 9:56 AM

Last updated: Sat 4 Apr 2015, 7:21 PM

Informed sources said that despite six of the seven Emirates failing to meet the April 30 deadline to submit lists of nominees for the Federal National Council’s elections, the polls would be conducted after the summer.

“The elections will hopefully be held sometime in September,” Saeed Mohammed Al Kindi, former speaker of the FNC told Khaleej Times.

“Each Emirate is now selecting its candidates through appointment or election and would present a complete list of nominees by next September,” Al Kindi said.

On Monday, the Cabinet discussed recommendations, plans and time-frames for instituting a mechanism for holding the elections. The regular weekly meeting discussed several recommendations submitted by various ministries, including a memorandum by Dr Anwar Mohammed Gargash, Minister of State for Federal National Council Affairs. The move to elect half of the FNC members came in a decision by the President, His Highness Shaikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

As of now, members are chosen by the individual Emirates for a two-year term. The FNC comprises eight representatives from both Abu Dhabi and Dubai, six each from Sharjah and Ras Al Khaimah, and four each from Fujairah, Umm Al Quwain and Ajman.

The FNC has the power under the constitution of the UAE to examine and amend proposed legislation affecting the whole country. It can also question any of the federal government ministers. Since the announcement by the President in his National Day speech in December that half of the FNC members would be elected, only the Emirate of Umm Al Quwain had followed due procedure.

If all goes well, half of the 40 FNC members would be elected through local councils and the rest appointed by the Rulers.

Their Highnesses, Members of the Supreme Council and Rulers of all Emirates, are requested to form their respective local councils — each at least 100 times the representation in the FNC. Sources said the 400-member electoral council could accommodate 20 women as well.

Saleh Al Shal, a former FNC member, said: “This move is seen as an important step towards transformation from the current appointment system to election system. Election of members of the House will give the people full freedom to elect those who will represent them and only then will the House be the lively body that will become the voice of the people.”

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