A clear vote of trust in UAE policies - GulfToday

A clear vote of trust in UAE policies

FNC elections

Emiratis cast their votes during FNC elections in Fujairah on Saturday. WAM

The ensuring of accuracy, transparency and integrity of the electoral process by the National Election Commission (NEC), enthusiastic participation by voters and upright conduct by the contestants — all combined to make the just-concluded Federal National Council (FNC) elections a model and glorious event.

The authorities deserve a salute for the successful conduct of the fourth elections and so do the winners and candidates for their participation.

The NEC kept its word on ensuring a hassle-free voting process on election day.

Since the start of the voting process — including early voting — a high turnout of voters was recorded at polling centres, reflecting the awareness of citizens on the importance of their political participation and parliamentary work in the UAE.

A total of 117,592 voters cast their votes, and the voter turnout per emirate amounted to 35,790 in Abu Dhabi, 12,891 in Dubai, 22,451 in Sharjah, 4,393 in Ajman, 3,778 in Umm Al Quwain, 22,172 in Ras Al Khaimah, and 16,117 in Fujairah.

Out of the total 478 candidates, 20 were elected, making up 50 per cent of the FNC. The Rulers of the Emirates will appoint the remaining representatives of their respective emirates.

Transparency remained a key word during polling as could be gauged by the fact that an international delegation visited the UAE to learn about the country’s experience in organising the 2019 FNC elections and implementing a state-of-the-art electronic voting system that has been in use since the first cycle of the elections.

The delegation comprised 24 members representing the Arab Parliament, the General Secretariat of the Arab League, the Election Commission of India, International Centre for Parliamentary Studies (ICPS), Sharjah Children Parliament, and 13 countries including Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait and Egypt.

President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan’s decision to raise the participation of women in the FNC to 50 per cent during the election remained an important highlight.

Women remain a key pillar of social development in the country. The adoption of several legislative policies and initiatives by the UAE leadership to support Emirati women has taken empowerment to a much higher level, worthy of emulation by other nations.

Earlier, the UAE election rule issued under the Presidential Resolution No. (1) of 2019 towards raising women’s representation in the FNC to 50 per cent with effect from the upcoming legislative cycle was hailed all around as a historic step marking a momentous milestone on women’s empowerment.

The FNC itself is renowned for playing a defining role in empowering Emirati women.

During its 14th legislative term (2006-2011), women’s representation in the Council exceeded 22 per cent — the highest in Arab parliaments at the time, while a woman assumed the presidency of the parliament for the first time in the Arab world during the 16th legislative term (2015-2019).

The FNC plays a vital role in connecting with people and strengthening the society by addressing their issues.

From Feb.12, 1972, to  Feb.2, 2016, the FNC held 543 sessions, passed 577 draft laws, debated 302 general issues, raised 663 questions to government officials/ministers and issued 73 statements.

Sheikh Khalifa’s “Political Empowerment Programme” launched in 2005 aims to prepare citizens to participate in public life and enable the FNC to become closer to the people.

The FNC’s successful democratic process will help serve the Emirati community. The high turnout in the elections is certainly proof of the success of the UAE’s policies.