More than 50,000 to vote in Sharjah Consultative Council elections

The ballot for the Sharjah Consultative Council elections will remain open until 8pm on Thursday.

The voting for Sharjah Consultative Council’s elections has started today and will continue for three days until 8pm on December 7. Picture Credit: Sharjah Consultative Council
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The voting for Sharjah Consultative Council’s elections has started today and will continue for three days until 8pm on December 7.

A total of 51,637 registered voters can cast their ballots remotely via the election website or in person at nine electoral centres operating round-the-clock.

Designated voting centres include Sharjah Chess Club, Al Hamriyah region Municipality, Bustan District Council in Al Dhaid area, Mleiha Sports Club, Al Madam Municipality, Al Bataeh Municipality, Khor Fakkan Expo, City District Council in Kalba and the City Council of Dibba Al-Hisn.

The centres will operate for 12 hours daily, from 8am to 8pm.

It is a patriotic duty for voters to cast their voice and participate
Ahmed Saeed Al Jarwan

Voters use the UAE PASS digital identity system for authentication and candidate selection.

A total of 193 candidates are competing across Sharjah’s various cities and regions.

The distribution includes 93 candidates in Sharjah City, 18 in Al Dhaid, 23 in Khor Fakkan, 15 each in Kalba and Dibba Al Hisn, 3 in Al Hamriya, 6 in Al Bataeh, 8 in Maliha, and 12 in Al Madam.

Preliminary counting results will be announced on December 7.

The appeals phase is set for December 8 and 9, with the committee's response to appeals on December 10, followed by the final winner's list announcement.

If necessary, by-elections will be held on December 11, 2023.

Ahmed Saeed Al Jarwan, member of the Supreme Committee for Sharjah Consultative Council Elections and Chairman of the Election Management Committee, spoke of the crucial role of voter participation in the council's elections.

"It is a patriotic duty for voters to cast their voice and participate in this process," he told The National.

“Public members must recognise the council's significant impact on the emirate's development.”

He highlighted the diverse composition of the council since its inception in December 1999 by Sheikh Dr Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, the Ruler of Sharjah.

"Over the years, the council has seen a membership of 300, including police officers, ministry undersecretaries, legal professionals, and experts from various fields," Mr Al Jarwan said.

“The breadth of their expertise has significantly contributed to the council's functions.”

The Council consists of 50 members, half of whom are appointed by the Sharjah Ruler while the other half are elected for a four-year term.

Its responsibilities include proposing or amending laws, overseeing public services, discussing the emirate's budget, addressing economic, social, and cultural development issues, addressing complaints and requesting or reviewing studies, reports, or proposals from government bodies and from the public.

"We don't just receive the complaints; we actively discuss them with the relevant departments," Mr Al Jarwan added.

A mandatory response from the relevant department must be received within three weeks.

“However, due to the strong interaction and response from all parties, departments often reply within just three to four days," he said.

"We receive and discuss suggestions in various areas, including family matters, humanitarian issues, and economic initiatives, among others."

During its four-year term, the council has four regular sessions, starting each October.

Sessions are typically public, held bi-weekly on Thursdays, and require a majority presence for validity.

Voter Hassan Al Balghouni, 53, said casting a ballot is a civic responsibility.

“It's our contribution to the government's efforts in developing all fields and facilities in the emirate," he said.

“It refines and filters complaints and suggestions and ensures applicable ones that better improve services are discussed.

“Therefore its our duty to support these efforts by taking part whether as voters or candidates.”

Fellow voter Ahmad Al Shamsi said taking part is critical.

"Casting our votes is crucial. It's about selecting the right candidate who will effectively represent our voices, opinions, and observations within the Council,” he said.

“This stems from our firm belief in the government's directives that emphasise the significance of our input and the commitment to act on suggestions that are beneficial.”

He said engaging in this process is a responsibility to ensure the public’s collective aspirations are heard and addressed.

Updated: December 05, 2023, 2:44 PM