Youngest candidate attributes win to social media
PHOTO SOUVENIR ... Emiratis pose for a memorable picture before leaving the election hall at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre after casting their vote.
Abu Dhabi - The 31-year-old Military Captain says the goal for him is to simply be the best representative for his community and to help those in need.
Perhaps a strong presence on social media was the reason behind the win for the youngest FNC candidate, Saeed Al Rumaithi who won from Abu Dhabi.
Minutes after the results were announced, Saeed Al Rumaithi, one of the winning candidates who will be representing Abu Dhabi, told Khaleej Times that although his win is certainly a great and exciting achievement for him, he nonetheless still has a lot of responsibility to carry on his shoulder.
"It's a great responsibility," he said, adding that, "this win will keep me thinking more and more about what to do in the future, and how to manage."
The 31-year-old Military Captain, who is also the youngest to win this year's FNC Elections, pointed out that the goal for him is to simply be the best representative for his community and to help those in need.
"My objective is to be the voice for the community and deliver their issues and problems to the council. I will try to deliver the best decisions for them," he pointed out.
The winner noted that it's not so much about creating a certain change in the UAE, as the majority of its' people are happy and fulfilled, but it is more about standing with the government and supporting a dynamic progress.
"We have a good situation in our country, but in general we will continue working with the government and continue to progress. We will continue to build the achievements of our nation," he added.
"I have a lot to do, this win is just the beginning," continued Al Rumaithi.
However, many might ask, what makes a candidate win such crucial elections, moreover, what qualities do they possess that others don't? After all, the winning candidates have the ability that may affect law amendments and thus the nation's future.
Prior to the announcement of the winners, voters spoke to Khaleej Times about why they are supporting their candidate. They also highlighted what they believe the winner can achieve.
Ahmed Al Rumaithi, who is a relative of Saeed Al Rumaithi, said that this year's elections is exceptionally vital, not only because of the growing number of participants, but also because this is the first time the elections were held inside and outside of the UAE.
"This year is really important for all of us, that's why I came here to support my brother Saeed. I am even managing his campaign," he added.
Al Rumaithi pointed out that a certain quality that his relative has, that others may lack in, is the fact that he has an immense number of followers on social media platforms. "Saeed and I are famous on Snapchat, we actually have over 300,000 followers and this is the first time someone famous from Snapchat joins the elections."
"Saeed received votes from all of the emirates. For instance, some people voted for Saeed in Ras Al Kheimah and Fujairah, even in London, Los Angels and Munich," he added.
You may not have money but you can still have supporters
Al Rumaithi noted that the way they chose to campaign was also different from the rest of the candidates, and perhaps that's what makes the winner unique. "We don't use any advertisement in the streets. We only use technology. We only use Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat."
The 32-year-old, who also works in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, pointed out that money does not always mean power. "We are the only ones who go inside with zero budget for the campaign," he said.
"We want to just give a message to the people that it's not only those with money that can enter the elections, even if you don't have money you can still have supporters," he added.
Ateeq Feter, 39, who also came to support Saeed Al Rumaithi, said that there are certain qualities his candidate has that makes him stand out amongst the rest of the crowd.
Feter highlighted that different generations in the UAE hold different interests and thus require different ways of communication. "We have to bridge the gap between generations," he said.
"But Saeed knows and understands what the young generation wants and looks for. He is the middle person who can fill the gap together. He wants to transfer the knowledge between the different generations, as it might not affect them now, but it will affect the future," he added.
Feter, who is the Director of the Strategic Planning Department of the Court of Shaikh Sultan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, pointed out that social media certainly plays an important role in today's modern society and in the elections. "I support Saeed because just by social media he can build knowledge for the youth."
He noted that at the end of the day, it's all about one's loyalty to his country. "I am loyal to my country. So if I am not choosing the right person in the first place, then that means I'm not giving my loyalty to my country."