Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 12 November 2019

Final list of elected Federal National Council members revealed

National Election Committee confirms preliminary list after rejecting six appeals for a vote recount

Emirati women cast their votes in Ras Al Khaimah during the Federal National Council elections. Pawan Singh / The National 
Emirati women cast their votes in Ras Al Khaimah during the Federal National Council elections. Pawan Singh / The National 

The final list of elected Federal National Council members was revealed on Sunday.

The 20 Emirati members were the same as those included on the preliminary list announced after voting closed on October 5.

Unsuccessful candidates could appeal the results within 48 hours of the initial announcement – and six submissions were made.

On Sunday, the National Election Committee met in Abu Dhabi to review the appeals but ruled them invalid due to “lack of strong evidence”.

The final elected list includes 13 men and 7 women. The woman with the highest number of votes (955) was Sabreen Al Yamahi, 41, from Fujairah.

She attributed her victory to family and friends who helped put her electoral programme together.

“I had a legal committee, campaigning committee and public relations,” said the family counsellor for Fujairah courts.

“It was collective team work and they all volunteered their time to help. I did not hire a company for that.”

Ms Al Yamahi spent around Dh40,000 on street advertising, social media campaigns and hosting lectures with potential voters. Candidates were allowed to spend up to Dh2 million on advertising.

“I ran based on a request from the people who knew me from my social and volunteer work but I still needed to campaign to reach everybody across the emirate," she said.

“I expected to win the minute I ran.”

Ms Al Yamahi said that, in the council, she planned to call for greater benefits for retired Emiratis and more support for women to encourage them to work.

Athra Bin Rakkad, 38, secured one of two seats for Umm Al Quwain after earning 270 votes.

“I received a lot of support from the family so I expected to win to be honest,” said Ms Bin Rakkad, who is head of Veterinary department at Ajman Municipality.

She said she planned to recommend a stronger push towards the use of clean energy and awareness for public health issues.

“Umm Al Quwain had the highest numbers of voters so awareness has increased and many of those running are youths so there was a lot of support from this segment of society.”

Twenty members remain to be appointed by the ruler of each emirate. The final council will have equal male and female members, following an order from President Sheikh Khalifa to ensure gender parity.

Updated: October 13, 2019 06:01 PM

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