Filipino expatriates have until today to register at their embassy or consulate for their country's presidential elections next year. Since registration began in February, 4,767 Filipinos have registered in Abu Dhabi and 11,964 in Dubai. Another 35,304 are registered from previous years but those who failed to vote in recent elections are asked to sign up again. More than 320,000 Filipinos live in the Emirates.
"I think as an overseas absentee voter, we can make a difference in our country's progress," said Leilani del Rosario, 39, a nurse who was one of 184 Filipinos who registered on Saturday. Due to the large expatriate community in the UAE and in other countries, Filipinos could provide a "swing vote" if they would all vote, she said. Overseas absentee voters are given one month to cast their votes beginning on April 10.