Huge turnout in Abu Dhabi, Al Ain

Huge turnout in Abu Dhabi, Al Ain

A number of voters had to go back from Al Jazira Sports Club voting centre in the Capital to collect their national ID cards, which they had left in their cars or at home, while one person was denied voting due to lack of documents required for the voting.

In Al Ain, the voting was delayed by two hours in the morning due to a technical glitch. The voting started at 10am and the centre witnessed a good turnout.

Most voters who turned up at Al Jazira Sports Club in the Capital, however, termed the elections as well-organised and entirely free, fair and transparent.

The United Arab Emirates has been progressively treading the path towards the formation of full democracy. Emirati residents excercised their right of franchise on Saturday for the second elections in the country to elect their representatives for the Federal National Council.

Voters’ turnout was low as the centre opened its gates early in the morning, but gradually the number of voters began to increase.

A large number of women wearing full face veil turned up at the centre to cast their votes. Most arrived in groups of four to five persons, while some arrived with their children.

Exclusively designed polling booths were placed in the large sports hall at the Club on the ground floor which could be clearly viewed from the first floor as all media, including hopeful FNC candidates, were accommodated there.

Every voter who came back after casting his/her vote appreciated the arrangements, cooperation and transparency in the polling process.

Talking to Khaleej Times, Sultan bin Jwied, Head of the election centre at Al Jazira Sports Club, said, there were 50 polling terminals all equipped with electronic voting machines including two terminals specially designed for people with special needs.

‘Voter-turnout was slow in the beginning but later it was good. We have maintained transparency and facilitated voters with all kind of pre-voting training for a smooth voting process,’ said Jwied.

‘The entire voting process takes hardly five to seven minutes to vote after a voter enters the venue,’ Jwied said.

Voter’s voice

Voters were entitled to vote for four candidates of their choice. While most of the people said they voted for four candidates, a few selected only three.

Mabkhout Hassan Al Saiery from Abu Dhabi who cast his vote at the club said the voting process was entirely transparent and free from any difficulty as the NEC staff assisted voters. ‘I expect the candidates to implement his/her election manifesto if they win the election and work for federal development programmes of the country. I voted at 8.10am and am now watching the electoral process. I gave my vote for two persons,’ said Al Saiery.

Awad Al Zaabi exercised her right of francise for three candidates and hoped that they would represent women in the FNC and focus on social and family affairs of women in the country.

‘We want further development in all sectors of the country and I have voted today on the same ground,’ said Haifa Saeed.

‘The youth are the future of the country,’ said Jasim Yaqoob Al Mansouri who had forgotten his national ID card in the car. ‘I will bring that and cast my vote just now. I found all arrangements appreciative,’ he said.

If the elected candidates implement their election programmes which they publicised, it would benefit the UAE society,’ said Saeed Al Zaabi said after casting his vote. ‘I urge them to focus more on Emiratisation, youth and their affairs, women’s role in society and peace in the country.’

Abdullah Maktoum Al Qubaisi from Abu Dhabi said: ‘I balloted for four persons on the grounds that the elected candidates would focus on the education sector, health, Emiratisation and youth education in particular.’

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