SHARJAH // Police officers, sportsmen and education experts were among the first to register for Sharjah Consultative Council candidacy, the first local elections in the emirates.
Nine municipality centres served as registration centres from 8am yesterday for Emiratis residents. The centres will be open for three days.
The Consultative Council reported a good turn out in the eastern region, with a woman being the first to register in Dibba Al Hisn.
Half of the 42 members of Sharjah Consultative Council will be elected after the Ruler of Sharjah, Dr Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed, announced the elections in June, with the other 21 seats appointed by him.
Council members are responsible for implementing proposals for all matters that the Ruler refers to the council.
Amna Al Amiri, one of the first females to register in Sharjah Municipality said: “I have decided to nominate myself to represent Sharjah women and to answer the call of Sheikh Sultan, who wants more women taking part in the decision-making in the emirate.”
With more than 23 years experience working with people with disabilities and psychiatric patients, she wants to bring their issues to the council. “Education, jobs and enhancing their lives is one of the main things I will focus on if elected to the council,” Ms Al Amiri said.
Six council seats are available for Sharjah city, while nine seats are distributed evenly between Al Dhaid, Khor Fakkan and Kalba. Two seats for Dibba Al Hisn, while Al Hamriya, Al Batayeh, Mleiha and Al Madam have one seat each.
To be eligible for candidacy, Emiratis must be Sharjah citizens, at least 25 years of age, of good standing in the community with no criminal record and be able to read and write.
If elected, the captain of Sharjah Club Handball team, Nabil bin Ashour, will focus his time on organising sports in the emirate. “We need sports in the emirate to be better and more organised, and to compete on a regional level,” he said.
The 39-year-old Al Qarain resident also wants to assist and motivate citizens in starting small businesses instead of relying on government jobs for their future.
Khaled Al Midfa, head of the media committee for SCC elections, said the turn out was impressive. “Fifteen minutes after the registration doors were opened, five people completed their registration for candidacy in Sharjah city.”
Police officer Hasan Al Hamadi, from Sharjah Police, submitted his papers for candidacy. ”I have been looking forward to run for the council, its an honorable thing to serve your emirate and its residents,” he said.
Mr Al Hamadi will focus his election campaign on social media. “With more people engaged on social media, I will use this platform to carry out my election campaign,” he added.
Nearly a third of Sharjah’s Emirati residents have registered to vote in the January election. The final list of new council members will be announced on February 11.