The countdown for polling begins

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The countdown for polling begins

The countdown for the FNC Elections 2011 has begun with just six more days left for the polling. 13 polling centres across the country are fully equipped and ready to receive voters.

By Anwar Ahmad

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Published: Sat 17 Sep 2011, 11:16 PM

Last updated: Tue 7 Apr 2015, 10:55 AM

The National Election Committee (NEC), on Saturday, announced the locations of each polling centre in all seven emirates of the country. The FNC elections will be held on September 24 for a day from 8am till 7pm across the country.

Tariq Hilal Lootah, Undersecretary of the Ministry of State for Federal National Council, Member of the National Election Committee and Chairman of the Election Management Committee, said, 13 polling centres across the emirates are ready to receive voters. Also, there will be separate voting arrangements for women in all the emirates.

Lootah emphasised that the voters are allowed to vote only in their respective emirates and if the emirate has more than one centre they can exercise their right of francise at any centres of their emirate.

The electoral process will start at 8am on the set day in each emirate and will continue till 7pm. Voting will go beyond 7pm if voters in the election hall are found not to have cast their ballots and will continue until all of them have voted. Subsequently, the person in charge of the voting centre committee will announce that the electoral process is over.

A voter must not stay in the election hall after casting his/her ballot and a candidate or his representative must neither attend the voting process nor the ballot sorting process.

The first FNC election in 2006 was a successful experience and this year, the elections have taken a giant leap forward in terms of the size of the electoral college, which has over 130,000 members now.

According to the NEC, the number of eligible voters rose from 6,595, or 2.3 per cent of Emiratis in 2006 to 129,274, more than 30 per cent, this year. That includes 59,991 women who are eligible to take part, 46 per cent of the electorate. The number of female FNC candidates has risen to 85 this year from 63.

There will be four polling stations in Abu Dhabi at the Abu Dhabi Exhibition Centre, Al Jazeera Club, Al Ain and the Western Region; two in Dubai at theExhibition Centre, Eastern Hall, Dubai Airport and the Dubai World Trade Centre; three in Sharjah at Sharjah Expo Centre, Meleeha and Khorfakkan; and one polling station each in Ras Al Khaimah, Fujairah, Ajman and Umm Al Quwain.

The polling process sets out at 8am sharp. “Each voter has one ballot to cast, and a voter is entitled to elect more than one candidate for the emirate he/she is representing, provided the number of votes should not exceed half of the number of seats reserved for each emirate in the FNC,” Lootah underlined.

All the arrangements have been put in place already, a week before the polling day. These centres have been distributed across the country as per the geographical condition of each emirate in the country, Lootah said.

There will be a waiting area for voters where certain technicalities of the voting machines and voting methods will be explained to them for accurate voting. Sufficient parking arrangements have also been made, Lootah said.

The NEC has allocated special areas for women where they can wait and would be trained for voting, and the voting venue will be adjacent to their waiting area. This has been done to provide utmost convenience to them, Lootah said.

“Women voters will also have a place where they can be trained on the e-balloting system,” said Lootah.

“We urge all voters to turn up in large numbers and contribute in making this election a second successful one in the history of the UAE,” he said.

Polling centres

Abu Dhabi: Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre; Al Jazeera Sport Club; Al Ain Conference Centre; Western Region Wedding Hall near Madinat Zayed Hospital

Dubai: World Trade Centre Hall No 1; Exhibition Centre, Eastern Hall; Dubai Airport

Sharjah: Sharjah Expo Centre Hall No 4; Maliha Community College of Sharjah University; Khorfakkan Shajah University

Ras Al Khaimah: Exhibition Centre, New Hall.

Ajman: University of Science and Technology, Zayed Hall

Umm Al Quwain: Cultural Centre at building of the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Community Development

Fujairah: Exhibtion Centre near airport.

anwar@khaleejtimes.com,

alaaali@khaleejtimes.com


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