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FNC National Electoral Commission holds 2nd meeting

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Al-Ittihad – The coming elections of the Federal National Council (FNC), which are regarded as a positive step towards enhancing the FNC’s role and position, will allow UAE nationals to take part in shaping the future of their country and will also encourage the new generation of young leaders to shoulder their national responsibilities, said H.E. Dr. Anwar Mohammed Gargash, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Minister of State for Federal National Council Affairs and Chairman of the National Electoral Commission.

During the second meeting of the Commission, which was held at the Ministry of Presidential Affairs in Abu Dhabi, Gargash added that the UAE commitment to a well-defined political program through successive steps and stages genuinely reflects the conviction of the political leadership that it is necessary for the political program to keep pace with the other aspects of development and modernization in the UAE. The meeting discussed the budget proposed for the 2011 elections and approved the Commission’s logo.

Fortifying the blessed federal experience demands a dynamic system and a methodology that combines politics with the other economic and social aspects that characterize the UAE process of development, he said.

Gargash explained that the elected Federal National Council members would represent the interests of the UAE and UAE nationals in their bid to give a boost to the UAE future and that the electoral process to be witnessed by the UAE is still relatively modern for the individuals of the society. Consequently, the objectives of this process should be made clear and the culture of political participation should be enhanced, he added.

Gargash stressed the importance of adopting the executive instructions of the elections at this early stage to enable the Commission to do its work in the light of these instructions, which would enhance the performance and effectiveness of the Commission in the next phase that requires further mobilization and integration of national efforts for the success of the electoral process.

During the discussion of the Commission’s media strategy, Gargash noted the pivotal role of the media, which is one of the most important strategic partners of the Commission in the next stage. Citing the successes achieved by this effective partnership in the 2006 elections, he reiterated the vital role played by the media in covering the work of the Commission and publicizing its activities through reflecting the right image in a neutral and professional way. The official website of the National Electoral Commission, which was designed according to the latest observed technologies and systems, was presented during the meeting. The presentation was accompanied by a discussion of the election-related software, which is complementary to the successful experience of the 2006 elections, considering that the UAE was the first Arab country to officially apply online voting in elections.

The meeting discussed the schedule of the elections in terms of stages and procedures. Scheduling the electoral process will shape the contours of the road map that the Commission will use to achieve the requirements of the electoral process, he said, adding that the appropriate dates for the stages of the electoral process would be studied by the Commission and announced as soon as they are approved.

The meeting was attended by the Commission members, these being H.E. Dr. Hadef Bin Ju’an Al Dhaheri, Minister of Justice, H.E. Humaid Mohamed Al Qatami, Minister of Education, H.E. Abdul Rahman Mohammed Al Owais, Minister of Culture, Youth and Community Development, H.E. Ahmed Mohammed Al Humairi, Secretary General of the Ministry of Presidential Affairs, Najla’ Mohammed Al Awar, Secretary General of Cabinet, H.E. Abdullah Humaid Al Mazrouei, H.E. Khalfan Mohamed Al Roumi, Abdul Rahman Al Douda Al Ameri, Tariq Hilal Lootah, Under-secretary of Ministry of State for Federal National Council Affairs, Ali Mohamed Al Khouri, Emirates ID Director General, and Dr. Saeed Mohammed Al Ghafli, Assistant Under-secretary of Ministry for Federal National Council Affairs at the Ministry of State for Federal National Council Affairs and Commission Administrator.

The National Electoral Commission was formed under President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nayhan’s decision No. 2 for 2011 by amending some provisions of the President’s decision No. 3 for 2006 with respect to determining the way of selecting the emirates’ representatives in the Federal National Council.

The President’s decision No. 3 for 2006 specified the powers and tasks of the National Electoral Commission in drafting the general framework of the electoral process; supervising the progress of elections; contributing to election-related awareness and cultivation efforts; laying down the guidelines for the electoral process; spotting the electoral centers in each emirate; approving the organizational procedures for forming the legal framework of the elections; issuing the governing rules for preparing and approving the tables of names of the electoral authority and fixing a day for the elections.

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