x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Sharjah: Ruler welcomes a new political era

This democracy is like a bride to us, says an enthusiastic voter.

Emiratis casting their FNC votes at the Sharjah Expo Centre.
Emiratis casting their FNC votes at the Sharjah Expo Centre.

SHARJAH // Ali Al Serkal, 40, was among the first to cast his ballot in Sharjah, where 87 candidates were vying for three seats on the FNC.

“This democracy is like a bride to us,” he said. “Who doesn’t want a bride?”

He said he wanted to finish the voting early so that he could return to the polling centre in the evening to witness the results and celebrate with the winners.

He was not alone in his excitement. Mansour bin Nassar, the director of the Sharjah National Election Council, who was overseeing voting at the Sharjah Expo Centre, said: “Voters have turned up in good numbers in response to the call of the President. It is like another celebration for a country preparing to celebrate its 40th National Day.”

Abdul Rahman Mohammed Al Owais, the Minister of Culture, attended voting at Sharjah Expo. It was one of the emirate’s three voting centres, along with Sharjah University in Khorfakkan and a community college centre in Maleiha.

Mr Al Owais said he was pleased with the turnout in the election, which underlined the direction the country was travelling in.

He said: “The participation of Emirati [youth] in this historical democratic process is evident that the sons and daughters of this country work hand in hand with our rightful leadership to develop this country.”

Meanwhile, Dr Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed, Ruler of Sharjah, said the UAE was moving steadily towards a “parliamentary life” in line with the decision of Sheikh Khalifa. He said this vote heralded a new political era in which Emiratis elected their representatives to discuss their living conditions and social issues with transparency, reported the state news agency, Wam.

ykakande@thenational.ae