x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Group works to improve Filipino polls turnout

Since overseas registration for May 2013 mid-term polls opened on November 2, only 50 Filipinos have signed up.

ABU DHABI // A Filipino organisation in the capital has been enlisted to ensure a better voter turnout in the country's 2013 national elections.

Only 17,041 of Abu Dhabi's 200,000 Filipinos registered at the embassy for last year's presidential poll. If repeated, it would fall far short of the 30,000 required to secure an electronic voting booth.

But in Dubai and the Northern Emirates, 30,679 of the estimated 400,000 Filipinos registered.

Since overseas registration for May 2013 mid-term polls opened on November 2, 50 Filipinos have signed up.

Registration will stay open until October 31 next year.

Representatives from Bayanihan, the Abu Dhabi Filipino umbrella group, will meet Grace Princesa, the Philippine Ambassador to the UAE, on December 9 to discuss how they can help.

They will consider practical steps such as providing transport to the embassy for residents of Mussafah, Al Ain and Ruwais.

Special weekend registration sessions could also be arranged in these areas, Ms Princesa said.

Prospective voters must register in person, because biometric data including facial features, fingerprints and signatures need to be digitally recorded.

They must also bring a copy of their passports or other proof of citizenship.

rruiz@thenational.ae