x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 19 January 2018

Chamber reschedules election

Low voter turnout forces the Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce to hold its election of the board again.

ABU DHABI // The elections for the Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ADDCI) will take place again because of poor voter turnout. Even though thousands of voters turned up in Abu Dhabi, Al Ain and Madinat Zayed yesterday to pick fellow members to represent them on the Chamber's board of directors, the quorum remained less than what the rules of the Chamber demands in order to determine the results. Since less than 75 per cent of the more than 70,000 members of the ADCCI did not vote, the election has now been rescheduled for December 21. During the second round, there is no set quorum, according to the Chamber's rules. The next round of voting will yield final results, regardless of the turnout. "Noting that the elections were not able to finalise the legal requirements with regards to the numbers of registered voters that took place on 7 December 2009, in Abu Dhabi, Al Ain and the Western Region, and with regards to the Article 9 from the Chamber law, the Chamber has decided to launch another poll on Monday, 21 December 2009, from 8am to 8pm," said a statement released by the chairman of the elections committee of ADDCI. Seventy-nine candidates will once again vie for 15 board seats in what will be the second election since the voting system was introduced in 2005. The board comprises 21 seats with six appointed by the Government, two of whom must be women. Two of the 15 elected positions are reserved for expatriates. With more than 70,000 active members, the ADCCI is a public body that represents private-sector interests. Membership in the chamber is mandatory for all firms holding trade licences in the emirate. Although he is a first-time contestant, Muneef Tarmoom, the presidents of ISAT consulting, a firm that specialises in financial and management advice, said that when the elections were held for the first time in 2005, it had resulted in the same situation, "It seems that people are not as engaged as one might gather," he said. Mr Tarmoom will return to the campaign trail for the next two weeks, calling on owners of small businesses to vote. According to some candidates, the estimated voter turnout was only 17 per cent, whereas the minimum requirement is at least 25 per cent turnout. sbhattacharya@thenational.ae