Sharjah takes first step

THE long journey of a thousand miles, the ancient Chinese held, begins with a decisive first step. Sharjah’s decision to usher in democracy by forming municipal councils and holding direct elections to these local bodies is one such step.

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Published: Mon 28 Feb 2005, 9:33 AM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 6:43 PM

The move is in tune with the changing times and the prevailing mood in the greater Middle East. As His Highness Shaikh Sultan bin Mohammed al Qasimi has pointed out these local bodies will act as people’s ‘trustful, watchful eyes’ and look after their interests. More importantly, they will involve people in the crucial decision-making process allowing them to deal with their own affairs and come up with their own solutions to their problems. Local bodies have been described as the pillars of democracy. Local bodies have played a key role the world over in addressing social and political inequalities and transforming people’s lives. Major democracies like India have tremendously benefited from a proactive role played by these primary and key institutions. As Sharjah grows from strength to strength and expands in length and breadth, democratic institutions like municipal councils can help the emirate deal with the challenges ahead. The Sharjah example is worth emulating by others in the region.

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