With the third cycle of the Federal National Council (FNC) coming up, many in the Emirati society are starting to develop a deeper interest in their nation’s internal politics. Here, we take a look at five things even its closest followers might not know.
- The FNC has two functions: legislative and regulatory.
Its legislative functions include discussing constitutional amendments, legal bills, draft laws, treaties, conventions, the national budget and the final accounts. Its regulatory functions include discussing general issues, answering questions, and investigating complaints.
- UAE nationals can vote even when abroad.
In the event that an eligible Emirati voter is abroad during the voting period, they may practice their electoral right and choose a candidate through an FNC-determined UAE embassy. Bonus fact: Voting within the UAE will be done electronically, whereas voting from outside the UAE will be done by paper.
- The 2015 elections are important on both the national and international level.
Nationally, the elections seek to establish the principles of empowerment, political participation, citizen involvement in the decision-making process, and also foster interaction between the leadership and the public. Internationally, the elections serve to support and strengthen the role of the FNC in international forums.
- There are actually a lot of things a candidate is not allowed to do while campaigning.
Candidates may not place images, posters, pamphlets or flyers in undesignated areas or out of accordance with the prescribed regulations. They may not use associations, clubs, schools, universities, institutes, mosques, hospitals, government buildings, public parks, or shopping malls in their campaigns. Candidates are prohibited from sticking publications or advertisements or any forms of writing, drawing or imagery on cars and all types of vehicles.
- Voter turnout by gender is almost equal at this point.
In the 2006 elections, the male-to-female ratio was a heavily skewed 82.4% to 17.6%. In the 2011 cycle, a mere five years later, the balance shifted drastically to a more egalitarian 54% to 46%.