Article in brief: We hear a lot about the FNC, but what is it really about? The author here explains the background of this federal authority, along with everything we need to know about it.
The Emirati community has been buzzing lately with the announcement of the third cycle of the Federal National Council (FNC). The FNC, as a political body, comes in the 4th place in terms of authority hierarchy in the five federal bodies of the UAE, falling behind the Federal Supreme Council, which includes the President of the Federation, and Vice-President of Federation. The third federal body is the Council of Ministers, while the fifth is the Federal Supreme Court. Sadly, despite all the talk that has been going on in the Emirati society, many of the Emirati voters and candidates are still not fully aware of the essence and role of the FNC.
His Highness Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE, had a vision to politically empower the Emiratis, which was implemented in 2006 through validating the rule of the Federal National Council. According to the FNC’s official website, 40 members are assigned from the seven Emirates in the following matter, putting in mind that half of them are elected by the voters, while the rest are appointed by the council:
- 8 members are assigned from Abu Dhabi
- 8 members are assigned from Dubai.
- 6 members are assigned from Sharjah
- 6 members are assigned from Ras Al Khaima.
- 4 members are assigned from Ajman.
- 4 members are assigned from Umm Al Quwain.
- 4 members are assigned from Fujairah.
The FNC is responsible for amending and examining all federal legislations. It can also summon any Federal Minister to question the performance of the Ministry represented by the called Minister. According to Almajlis website, the FNC also contributes to the process of sustainable development through establishing relationships with the federal authorities, and participating in their discussions and implementations of the legislations. It also works on strengthening the effectiveness of different executive bodies through promoting the investment in the fields of the human development, infrastructure and the development of the political empowerment and participation mechanisms[*].
The term of the membership in the FNC is four years and it begins upon the commencement of the first meeting of the council. Since the last term started in 2011, the next term will begin before the end of this year, as the candidates will start nominating themselves from today (16th of August, 2015). According to the National Commission Election’s website, each member of an electoral authority is eligible to nominate themselves for the membership of the Federal National Council putting in mind the following rules:
- The candidate is an Emirati national and permanently resides in the Emirate of representation for the Federal National Council.
- The candidate must be literate.
- By the day of elections the candidate must be of 25 years of age.
- The candidate must be of good conduct and should never have been convicted in an immoral crime in which he/she has not been pardoned.
All the information needed to have better idea of what the Federal National Council is about can be found on the Federal National Council website. An app can also be downloaded for more information. However, the app is not in English.
For more information the following websites can be visited:
Maitha Almuhairi (@Maithani)
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