Four councillors – three appointed and one elected – enter their last year before giving others a rich opportunity

The vast majority of Federal National Council members will commit to serve another four-year term but there are four, after great service to their country, that will not continue.

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ABU DHABI // Most FNC members have expressed their full commitment to returning for another four-year term.

But four members have no plans to return.

Ali Jassim Umm Al Quwain

It is the end of the road for the longest-serving member of the council.

Mr Jassim, who heads UAQ radio stations, has been a member since 1993, when he was appointed by the Ruler of the emirate.

He readily recalls the council’s achievements and the policies on which it has worked over two decades.

Mr Jassim has held several leading roles at the FNC, leading committees, representing the UAE internationally, liaising with the Iranian parliament over the three occupied UAE islands – Abu Musa and the Greater and Lesser Tunbs – and serving as Deputy Speaker.

He says he is content with his FNC journey. In a recent interview, he said he believed this would be his last year.

Dr Abdulrahim Al Shahin Ras Al Khaimah

Dr Al Shahin joined the council in 2006 after being elected by RAK voters.

In 2011, he was appointed by the ruler of RAK to serve another four-year term.

Over the years, Dr Al Shahin has had a strong presence in the council and has been outspoken on about which matters he feels strongly.

He has also regularly holding ministers to account. Dr Al Shahin continued in the same vein this term with his incisive debates on budget irregularities and delay in government law enforcement, although his input will soon come to an end.

“I was first elected then I was later appointed. I tried both. Now it’s time for someone else to have their turn,” he said.

Humaid bin Salem UAQ

Like many of the appointees, Mr bin Salem’s post on the FNC came as a complete surprise to him.

He played a more active role in the council’s committees than in public sessions, and said he had no plans of his own to return to the council but would be happy to do so if asked.

“I came with appointment and when a person becomes a member, he plays his role,” Mr bin Salem said.

Gharib Al Saridi Fujairah

After running and winning his election campaign, Mr Al Saridi suffered a stroke and could not make it to the first few FNC sessions in 2011.

When he finally joined the council he worked hard to catch up on what he had missed.

Mr Al Saridi is grateful to have been appointed but does not wish to return.

He wants to give others the opportunity.

He recently said that without stronger financial support for members, he feared many wishing to join the council might rule it out.