FNC elections committee warn candidates over election corruption fears

Racial intolerance, buying out votes by way of gifts and slander and insults are examples of electioneering not previously witnessed at FNC elections but they are seen in other Arab countries and could occur here.

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ABU DHABI // The FNC elections committee has issued a firm warning to candidates against breaking rules in the run-up to the October 3 election.

Dr Saeed Al Ghafli, assistant undersecretary for FNC Affairs, said that candidates who broke electoral rules could lose the right to contest.

Dr Al Ghafli said that there was “a certain privacy around parliamentary elections in the UAE and this was evident in both 2006 and 2011 elections, when no considerable violations were registered”.

The first offence would result in a warning but further breaches could lead to the offender’s campaign being halted, a maximum fine of Dh5,000 and disqualification of the candidate.

A severe breach could lead to the elections being cancelled.

FNC member Salem Al Ameri, from Abu Dhabi, warned that exaggerated pledges by candidates were unacceptable and manifestos must be rational.

“Clarity and rationality are key elements in the preparation of the electoral programmes and in the success of these programmes,” Mr Al Ameri said.

“Hyperbole and exaggeration can have negative repercussions on the candidates.”

Mr Al Ameri said that a good understanding of the procedures and preparation was necessary before deciding whether or not to contest the election.

Fellow FNC member Hamad Al Rahoomi, from Dubai, said that better tools to monitor offences should be provided, along with more ways in which the public could follow the election.

Dr Al Ghafli said the election management committee would accept complaints and direct feedback from voters and Emiratis on any suspected breach of regulations.

Sultan Al Sammahi, a member from Fujairah, warned candidates against accepting financial gifts from any person or company outside the UAE.