Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 19 September 2019

FNC elections: Almost 300 candidates register to run in first two days

A third of those intending to stand are women and registration remains open until Thursday

Almost 300 Emiratis have registered to run for election to the Federal National Council since Sunday.

The National Election Committee opened registration booths at nine centres across the country and 288 citizens have applied so far, including 103 women.

October’s elections will be the largest to date, with about a third of Emiratis – 330,000 people – eligible to vote. Prospective candidates have until Thursday to register.

Half of the 40 council members are elected and half are appointed. The government has said that 50 per cent must be women at the end of the process in October.

Tariq Lootah, undersecretary for FNC Affairs, said that standing “is a privilege for every national”.

“We encourage all eligible UAE nationals to nominate themselves as candidates for this important national duty,” he said on Sunday.

“Or to motivate capable candidates to apply, or to come out and vote for their chosen candidate on election day.”

The NEC will announce the preliminary list of candidates on August 25 with the final list being announced on September 3.

Campaigning is officially due to begin on September 8. There have been 86 people from Abu Dhabi, including 33 from women, which also covered the Al Ain and Al Dhafra regions, who have registered their interest in standing.

Just under half of the 33 people who registered in Dubai were women, with 16 women declaring their interest.

Sharjah received 74 applications, including 23 from women, while Ajman had 10 applications, one of which was from a woman.

Umm Al Quwain received 17, including eight from women. Ras Al Khaimah had 33 applications, including 11 from women, and out of Fujairah’s 35 applications, 11 were from women.

Candidates must be Emirati and a permanent resident of the emirate in which they seek election.

They must also be over the age of 25, born on or before October 4, 1994 and be “a knowledgeable and literary person of sound reputation capable of discharging their civic responsibilities”.

Candidates should also have not been convicted of any offence, unless they have completed rehabilitation in accordance with legal guidelines.

FNC members are prohibited from simultaneously holding public office in the UAE, including a ministerial job.

The FNC acts as the UAE’s parliamentary body that passes, amends and rejects federal draft laws.

It also reviews constitutional issues, international treaties and the Annual General Budget.

Updated: August 20, 2019 04:07 PM

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