Abu Dhabi: Registrations for the fourth cycle of Federal National Council elections kicked off in the capital on Sunday, August 18, with hopeful candidates streaming into the Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce in right earnest to enrol for the upcoming elections.
Women, who are set to make up half of the 40-member FNC for the first time, were especially conspicuous as they walked out — beaming — after submitting the required documents.
“Knowing that women will make up half of this representative body is really empowering. I would love to be a part of it, promoting progress in the fields of education and employment,” Safeya Al Kaabi, 40, a logistics officer and mother of eight, told Gulf News after registering her candidacy.
She added that she wanted people to know and be inspired by her story.
“I was lazy about my studies, and got married at 16. I only started night school because I was bored, but then I finally found my inner resolve. Now, I have a Master’s degree in business management information. So I want to push women to support themselves, and play a role in developing our nation,” she said.
Maha Al Balooshi, 38, was just as excited at being able to serve her country.
“I have been practising law for nine years, and I believe I could really bring people’s concerns to the fore,” she said.
Some candidates were registering for a second election cycle, convinced they could stand a chance this time around.
“I contested in 2015, so my children were familiar with the whole process. But they pointed out to me that the logo for this election cycle has both a boy and a girl. So they insisted I participate, and win to be part of such a representative FNC,” said Mohammad Al Ketbi, 41, an engineer and businessman.
“The FNC plays a vital role in the future direction of our beloved country, especially in delivering the needs of our people. As FNC members, we must be the voice of the people living in remote areas and small towns, just as we must stand for the people of our big cities. I take this role extremely seriously,” he added.
For Salem Al Ameri, it will be his first time as an FNC election candidate.
“I believe our country is at the forefront of development, yet a few enhancements to the infrastructure are still needed at the service level. This is the kind of development I want to bring about,” the 58-year-old businessman said.
Registrations are set to extend until August 22, and the final list of candidates for the October 2019 election will be announced on September 3.