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June 24, 2019

UAE polls 50pc FNC members to be women

Top Story

June 24, 2019

ABU DHABI: The representation of women in the Federal National Council (FNC) will be raised to 50 percent in keeping with the decision of the President His Highness Shaikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nayhan.

International media reported that as per the decision, 20 of the 40-member house will be women. Meanwhile, the National Election Commission approved the guidelines for elections of representatives of emirates to the FNC.

They outline the general rules for elections under which sectarianism and intolerance have no place in campaigns for the FNC polls. Under the general rules, candidates should get their messages across in advertisements and posters without being offensive or disrespectful of social values.

The guidelines say candidates have the right to promote themselves freely, but they should refrain from incorporating ideas promoting or raising religious, sectarian, ethnic and tribal or bigotry against others. Similarly, they are not allowed to launch any campaign involving any act of deception or fraud.

Tactics of defamation or insulting others are prohibited in campaigns. Candidates are not allowed to spend on their campaigns from public funds, budgets of public ministries, departments and establishments. Public utilities are not to be used in campaigns. Also the use of SMSs is not allowed by companies in the campaign.

The rules allow every UAE citizen registered with the electoral college in his emirate to cast his vote only in the emirate he represents and not in any other emirate.

Under the general rules, every voter has one vote and can elect only one candidate of the emirate he or she represents. A voter is not allowed to vote more than once in an election round. He is not allowed to deputise or represent any other person to cast his electoral vote.

The NEC shall be in charge of announcing the list of candidates for each emirate, issuing a time frame for elections, setting dates of the start of candidacy, grace period of withdrawal of candidacy, date of holding elections in each emirate and grace period for challenges and date for announcement of final results.

Under the rules, the NEC will also set up sub-committees of elections and determine their functions, besides setting up teamworks for running the elections process and have the authority to deputise and second government official for assistance.

The NEC will look into any violations that could hinder the progress of elections or obstruct implementation of issued instructions, and take action by warning member of the electoral college of withdrawal from electoral lists or from the list of candidates for the current or future elections, cancel any names stated in the elections lists, even they are final, revoke the licence of advertisement and promotion given to the candidate.

Every public servant can nominate himself for the FNC membership under the rules and he shall not assume his public job from the date of announcement of candidates lists, but can return to his job if he doesn’t win the FNC seat.

If the candidate is a military personnel, he shoud furnish a certificate of leave from his employer. If he is a member of the judiciary, he should resign upon candidancy.

The resolution specified the elections campaign rules under which cast of votes shall be through direct secret balloting. Candidates can present their programmes through the local TV, radio and print media, hold symposia and press conferences according to conditions laid down by the NEC.

The rules have allowed candidates to raise donation from normal or legal individuals, provided that these donations should not exceed the Dh2 million spending ceiling of campaigns, but prevented them from offering gifts to voters in cash or kind.

Candidates should furnish account statements of the donations they receive to the emirate election committee. It is totally prohibited for candidates to receive funds or donations from outside the country or from foreign circles. All candidates shall be committed to spending a ceiling of campaigns of Dh 2 million, and to disclosing sources that finance their campaigns, besides submitting the campaign plan and budget to the elections management committee for approval.

No candidate shall be allowed to use the emblem or symbols of the UAE in his meetings, advertisements or electoral bulletins and all sorts of publications and illustrations. He is not allowed to use his campaighn for any purposes other than FNC elections. Government and semi- government schools, universities, institutes, mosques, hospitals, buildings, public parks and commercials malls should not be used in the candidate’s campaign.

Candidates are prohibited to post bulletins, advertisements or any types of illustrations or photos on vehicles or car. Also the use of loudspeakers are only allowed in halls assigned to this purpose. Campaigns shall be conducted individually by each candidate and candidates are not allowed to agree on unified electoral lists for the FNC elections or team up together directly or indirectly in running the campaigns.

Similarly, candidates are prohibited from showing any illegal, direct or indirect behaviour or acting or using offending language or insult against other candidates. Campaigns should not include phrases, speeches, statements or bulletins that harm or touch any other candidate. Keeping in mind the role of the FNC member, the candidate should not announce during his campaign promises or plans breaching the powers of the FNC members.

Under the regulations, government departments or companies and corporations in which the government owns part of their stakes are not allowed to offer any forms of financial or moral support or any facilities or resources to any candidate or assume any act that can affect directly or indirectly the campaign of any candidate whether in favour of or against the candidate.

Also, officials of the government or any official authority are not allowed to back any candidate or run a campaign in favour of any candidate. On the day of elections,a candidate is not allowed to distribute — by himself or through others — action plans, bulletins or slips or any other documents.

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