With elections having wrapped up on Saturday, and preliminary results declared across the seven emirates, the make-up of the new Federal National Council of the UAE has become clear.
The final list of winners will be revealed on October 13.
Around 337,000 Emiratis were eligible to vote for a total of 479 candidates. The sheer number of candidates indicates that the FNC is relevant, representative and that the campaign and election process has inspired all Emiratis to participate and ensure that their views and opinions are heard on the national stage.
While the electioneering process is over, the real work for the elected members and indeed the whole FNC itself begins in earnest once more. Over the next four years, the FNC has a responsibility to discuss issues of concern and those that are relevant and make a difference to the lives of all Emiratis.
It’s important for each FNC member to realise that the real work is only now beginning. They have an onerous duty to ensure they will raise issues and fully represent those who elected them to office.
For the new members, there is a serious responsibility to ensure that they work conscientiously and diligently to represent those who elected them to the national chamber.
What’s clear is that the diversity of backgrounds, strength of character and personal integrity of the new members means debates in the FNC will be vibrant, bringing diverse opinions and new perspectives to issues and dialogues there.
That in itself is an endorsement of the consultative nature of the project.
New members with new opinions shows that the FNC is robust, truly representative and will work to find solutions in legislative sessions that will be lively, relevant and stimulating.
Preliminary results indicate that seven of the 20 directly elected FNC seats have been provisionally won by women candidates. That’s a remarkable achievement, and when the final make-up of the FNC is assembled, they will continue to have a very meaningful say in the debates and legislative agenda of the UAE — bringing an outlook and perspective that’s welcome and most relevant.
Over the past sessions since its establishment, the FNC has developed and gained in stature, ensuring that views of Emiratis are heard in a legislative process that is meaningful and deals with key issues.
Now, with the new chamber taking shape and the elections over, it’s important for each FNC member to realise that the real work is only now beginning. They have an onerous duty to ensure they will raise issues and fully represent those who elected them to office.