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Emiratis cast their vote for FNC election at Higher College of Technology in Ras Al Khaimah. Image Credit: Gulf News archives

Abu Dhabi: The National Elections Committee (NEC) on Monday announced the timeline of the upcoming fourth Federal National Council (FNC) election cycle. The timeline announced outlines all of the steps and processes, including opening of registration for applications at application centres on August 7,

Candidate’s registration at polling stations will begin on August 18 and will continue for five days, and the announcement of the preliminary list of candidates on August 25.

The National Elections Committee (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 announced 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.

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Emiratis arrive at the World Trade Centre polling station for FNC elections early voting Image Credit: Gulf News archives

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

According to the timeline, overseas voting will run from September 22 to 23, while early voting takes place from October 1 to 3.

Allowing voters to cast their ballot before the official election deadline, early voting is seen to help increase participation and give voters more flexibility to cast their votes at their convenience, especially those with conditions that prevent them from performing their electoral duties.

October 5 has been set as the main election day, during which the results of the preliminary count will be announced.

Appeals will start on October 6 and continue for two days, with the committee replying to these appeals on October 9 to 10. The final list of elected candidates will be announced on October 13, unless supplementary elections are held.

For the first time, this year’s elections will not witness any election silence that usually prevents candidates from campaigning 48 hours before voting begins. This new initiative aims to enhance candidate-voter relations and improve outreach and engagement.

Promoting awareness

Abdul Rahman Bin Mohammad Al Owais, Minister of State for FNC Affairs and Chairman of NEC, said the early announcement of the election timeline establishes a transparent relationship with all parties involved, especially voters, enhances their awareness about the electoral process and paves the way for effective participation. This step will go a long way in ensuring the success of the fourth elections cycle that witnesses significant interest and growth in the number of electoral bodies.”

Activating digital platforms and launching the NEC App

In parallel, NEC announced the launch of the elections digital platforms that will provide voters and the public with comprehensive information about the next cycle. These include the website www.uaenec.ae, as well as the official social networking platforms on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. NEC introduced the new National Election Committee smart application that can be downloaded on Apple iOS devices via Apple Store and on Android devices via Google Play.

The committee has launched a call centre for the fourth cycle of the elections. NEC also unveiled the new logo of the 2019 elections. The design and concept of the logo reflect the directive of the President His Highness Shaikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan to increase the representation of Emirati women in FNC to 50 per cent in the upcoming electoral cycle.

Further information on the fourth cycle of the FNC elections is available on its social media pages, NEC website and app, or over the phone on 600500005.