ABU DHABI // The 20 candidates provisionally elected to the Federal National Council are yet to face any objections.
Monday was the first of three days in which official objections could be registered against the candidates.
“On the first day of objections, there were none received from any of the election centres across the UAE,” said Dr Saeed Al Ghafli, assistant undersecretary at the Ministry for FNC Affairs.
“The National Elections Commission is committed to guaranteeing the rights of all the candidates.”
Dr Al Ghafli said objections could be made at any of the election centres.
“All objections will be carefully examined and investigated. We will do all we can to ensure the transparency of the election process,” he said.
Objections could be rejected if they did not meet the criteria put in place, which includes electoral irregularities.
In coming weeks, the Rulers in each emirate will appoint 20 more members to the 16th FNC.
President Sheikh Khalifa will then issue a decree for the council to be established and another for it to convene.
Four members will be appointed each from Abu Dhabi and Dubai, three from Sharjah and Ras Al Khaimah, while Ajman, Umm Al Quwain and Fujairah will each appoint two members.
The members selected by the Rulers do not have to be candidates that have contested the election, although some might be those who did not secure enough votes to win.
According to the council’s guidelines, members who were Federal Government employees will have to leave their jobs.
This does not apply to employees working in local government jobs.
FNC rules also note that members of the council represent all citizens of the UAE, not only citizens of the emirate they are from.
The NEC will continue to receive objections until tomorrow, then respond to any objections by Thursday.
The list of winning candidates will be announced after all proceedings are finished on October 15.
Sheikh Hamdan bin Mubarak, Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research and Chancellor of UAE University, called the FNC elections a pioneering experience for Emiratis.
“The UAE is experiencing an important transformational and developmental stage that enhances its role and position through the consolidation of concepts of political awareness and patriotism,” Sheikh Hamdan said.
He said that this experience “is embodied in the FNC through the political empowerment initiative launched by the President in 2005 to strengthen the FNC to carry out its role effectively”.
Sheikh Hamdan also commended the youth for exercising their electoral rights and congratulated the winners.
Nationally, 330 candidates, including 74 women, contested the elections, but only one woman managed to win a seat.
“Our leadership empowers women. Women will probably be appointed but it’s a shame to see that the votes didn’t reflect that,” said Latifa Mubarak, 33, a voter from Dubai.