Leading one of the busiest FNC committees

Salem Al Ameri has headed one of the busiest committees in the FNC the past three years.

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ABU DHABI // One of the busiest FNC committees has been led by Salem Al Ameri for the past three years.

As it covers three major service sectors, Mr Al Ameri’s Health, Labour, and Social Affairs committee has viewed and discussed more legislative bills than many of the nine FNC committees.

The retired brigadier general, whose election advertisements ran almost daily in Al Ittihad newspaper, is among the few FNC members who have kept the election promises they made to Emiratis.

The committee chairman has been regularly raising issues pertaining to health, labour and social affairs to the FNC.

He is also known for his distinct approach to the media and transparency about the FNC’s work. For instance, he has asked for live-streaming broadcasts of FNC sessions.

On several occasions, he invited the media to attend closed committee meetings. He often did so despite the disapproval of federal bodies involved in those sessions. In his role, Mr Al Ameri often defended his committee’s reports during public FNC discussions and explaining its proposed legal amendments.

During one such meeting, an FNC member called for the removal of a clause that allows the authorities to remove children from their homes if they were found to be facing imminent danger. The FNC member said the clause was unconstitutional.

But Mr Al Ameri firmly and calmly argued that doing so could cost lives. He said his committee learnt that a girl was burnt to death because a court order for her removal came three days late.

Notwithstanding his committee’s efforts in demanding better healthcare services, questioning the Minister of Health, and seeking greater Emiratisation efforts, it has also been criticised for removing “Wadeema” from the Child Rights law, a change the FNC approved. The law was originally named Wadeema in memory of an eight-year-old girl who her father tortured to death.

osalem@thenational.ae