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Absence of ministers annoys FNC members.

Members were angry and displeased to see only one minister, Shaikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Culture, Youth and Community Development, attending the meeting.

Abu Dhabi -- The absence of ministers and senior officials to take part in debates over several issues on Wednesday annoyed and distressed the entire floor of the Federal National Council (FNC).

Members were angry and displeased to see only one minister, Shaikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Culture, Youth and Community Development, attending the meeting.

Out of five, four ministers, including Dr Anwar Mohammed Gargash, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs and Minister of FNC Affairs, could not make it for the meeting due to other engagements.

For the council members, the Wednesday meeting -- chaired by Speaker Mohammed Ahmed Al Murr -- was very crucial for discussing a law pertaining to domestic violence and they said "the absence of the ministers was intolerable".

Member Ahmed Al Shamsi said: "It is disappointing to note that four of the five state ministers who were to attend today's meeting have failed to appear before the house. We are discussing some very crucial issues here today but the ministers are missing."

Those who failed to appear before the House included Dr Gargash; Sultan bin Saeed Al Badi, Minister of Justice; Hussain bin Ibrahim Al Hammadi, Minister of Education and Chairman of the Federal Authority for Government Human Resources; and Abdul Rahman bin Mohammed Al Owais, Minister of Health.

Al Shamsi said he has addressed a question to Al Badi about child custody of non-Emirati mothers several times "but the honourable minister has failed to appear before the council to address the issue".

"This is the fifth time I have requested the minister over a period of months but he does not come to the floor. I need an answer from the minister in two weeks," Al Shamsi said.

Member Hamad Al Rahoumi from Dubai sought answers from Dr Gargash about one of the telecommunication companies sponsoring a Spanish team, Barcelona.

Speaker of the house also tried to calm down the members saying Dr Gargash was on an important diplomatic mission abroad "and that is why he could not attend the FNC session".

Dr Amal Al Qubaisi, first Deputy Speaker, was also unhappy about the absence of the ministers and said it has become a practise now that the ministers fail to appear before the council to discuss crucial issues that directly affect the citizens and government policy-making.

Member Musabeh Al Ketbi tabled a question about the 10 days of Ramadan public holiday before Al Hammadi. In a written statement, the minister had said that he was unable to attend the session due to other important meetings. "The authority will study the proposal regarding the public holiday and discuss it with other government agencies," he said.

nissar@khaleejtimes.com

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Publication:Khaleej Times (Dubai, United Arab Emirates)
Date:May 20, 2015
Words:485
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