'Women may get more than half of FNC seats'

Women may get more than half of FNC seats
WOMEN EMPOWERMENT: Strong female participation is expected in the upcoming FNC polls, since the number of women electors for this year reached 50.62 per cent, compared to 49.38 per cent for men. - KT file photo

Dubai - The FNC is the consultative council and the parliamentary body of the UAE.



by

Mustafa Al Zarooni

Published: Wed 31 Jul 2019, 9:00 PM

Last updated: Thu 1 Aug 2019, 12:57 PM

Women may take more than half of the seats in the 40-member Federal National Council (FNC) in the next legislative cycle, a senior official has said.
"Considering the UAE's strategic target to empower Emirati women, it is likely that the number of women's seats in the council would go higher than 50 per cent," said Tariq Hilal Lootah, undersecretary of the Ministry of State for FNC Affairs.
Earlier, the President, His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, issued a decree that would ensure half of the seats in the council would be taken up by women in the upcoming legislative cycle.
The National Election Committee (NEC) has also announced that the process of allocating 50 per cent women representation shall be explained by local governments during the nomination, which will start on August 18.
Lootah said women with the highest votes will win the seats and the rest of the allocation shall be decided by each emirate.
Overall, stronger female participation is expected in the upcoming polls, since the latest figures showed that the number of women electors this year reached 50.62 per cent, compared to 49.38 per cent for men.
Election details
While 39 voting centres will be ready by October 5, the main election day, fewer centres will be prepared for the three-day early voting period, Lootah said.
He noted that the pre-election silence period was also cancelled, as it was deemed 'impractical'.
About 2,000 people have registered as volunteers, a good sign of the public's awareness of the importance of such an event, Lootah said.
Noura bint Mohammed Al Kaabi, Minister of Culture and Knowledge Development and a member of the NEC, said the committee is working hard to ensure that the electoral process would be run in the highest standards of transparency and accuracy.
"Empowering citizens and increasing their contribution in nation-building is a continuous process, which follows the vision of the council since it was launched by the President in 2005," Al Kaabi said.
The FNC is the consultative council and the parliamentary body of the UAE.
The number of seats assigned to each emirate is proportionate to its population: Abu Dhabi and Dubai each have eight seats; Sharjah has six; Ajman four; Umm Al Quwain four; Ras Al Khaimah  six; and Fujairah has four.
The Ruler's Court in each of the seven emirates would appoint half of the members while the electoral bodies representing the citizens would elect the other half.
FOURTH ELECTION CYCLE
Emiratis will begin voting to elect their next parliamentarians on September 22. Overseas voting will be held on September 22-23. The main election will happen on October 5 and the results of the preliminary count will be announced on the same day.
malzarooni@khaleejtimes.com


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