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Registration work for FNC candidacy in progress in Dubai. Candidates will launch their election campaigns on September 8. Image Credit: Supplied

Abu Dhabi: A total of 555 hopefuls, including 355 men and 200 women, have filed their candidacy applications for the upcoming FNC elections across the emirates, according to the National Election Committee (NEC).

Candidates’ registration ended on Thursday and the preliminary list of candidates will be announced on August 25.

The NEC will receive objections against candidates over the next three days, and will reply to these objections by September 1.

The final list of candidates will be released on September 3, while the names of the candidate representatives should be presented on September 4 according to the terms set out in the executive regulations.

The candidates will launch their election campaigns on September 8, with the deadline for candidate withdrawal, if any, set for September 15.

Abdul Rahman Al Owais, Minister of Health and Prevention, Minister of State for Federal National Council Affairs and Chairman of the National Election Commission, praised the high turnout witnessed in the registration centres across the emirates.

Al Owais stressed as he toured the candidate registration centre in Fujairah that the high turnout of candidates is a clear evidence of the level of political awareness among all segments of society and a reflection of the belief of members of the community of the leading role played by the Federal National Council and its members to serve the nation and its citizens.

Al Owais praised efforts to provide best service in registration centres, which have been on high-level preparedness to provide the best equipment and techniques to make the registration process as smooth as possible.

Al Owais said that the success of the electoral process in all stages is hinged on working as a team to serve citizens and meet the aspirations of the UAE leadership.

More than 337,000 Emiratis are eligible to vote for candidates on October 5. They are also eligible to run for membership.

Last year, President His Highness Shaikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan approved plans to ensure 50 per cent of FNC representatives were women.

In line with this quota decree, Abu Dhabi and Dubai allocated two seats for women out of the four seats designated for each emirate by election, while Ajman, Fujairah and Umm Al Quwain are each designating one seat for a female candidate following the election from two seats designated to each emirate. Sharjah and Ras Al Khaimah have not dedicated any seats for women through the election, but once the elections results are announced, the Rulers can appoint women to ensure the 50 per cent quota is filled.

Timeline for FNC Polls:

August 25: A preliminary list of eligible candidates to be released to allow any objections to be filed by September 1.

September 3: The final list of potential candidates for the FNC will be announced.

September 8: Candidates begin their campaigns and any withdrawals to be submitted by September 15.

September 22-23: Of the 337,738 Emiratis, eligible to vote, those overseas can cast their ballots.

October 1 to 3: Early polling booths open for those who cannot make the main election day on October 5, when results of the preliminary count will be announced.

October 13: The final elected council members to be revealed, unless any appeals lead to supplementary elections.