Abu Dhabi - The Khalifa Group - And UAE Affairs.
Khalifa heads his own ruling part of the Nahyan family, while CP Muhammad heads a rival bloc. The most prominent sons of Khalifa are Sultan and Muhammad.
It was not until December 2003 that Sultan bin Khalifa hoped - and behaved accordingly - that one day he will become the CP and Abu Dhabi's day-to-day ruler. That was dashed in December 2003 as Shaikh Zayed gave the post to Muhammad. Sultan bin Khalifa on Dec. 18, 2006, ceded his post as chairman of the CP's diwan. This was given to Hamed bin Zayed, who until then used to be chairman of Abu Dhabi's Planning and Economic Development Department.
The highest authority in the UAE is the Supreme Council. Its members comprise the rulers of the seven emirates, who elect a president and VP from among themselves for a five-year renewable term. Khalifa was unanimously elected president of the council in 2004, and is therefore president of the UAE.
Each emirate has a single vote in the deliberations of the council. Decisions on substantive matters are made by a majority of five of its members, provided this majority includes the votes of Abu Dhabi and Dubai. Council decisions on procedural matters need a majority vote.
The Supreme Council has legislative and executive powers. It formulates general policy, ratifies treaties and sanctions decrees. The president appoints the PM, who heads the UAE cabinet. The PM proposes a list of ministers, which is then ratified by the president. The PM can appoint deputy PMs but only after approval from the president, Shaikh Khalifa.
The UAE cabinet is the executive body for the federation and is the fourth-highest authority in the UAE after the Supreme Council, the president and the vice-president. The UAE cabinet follows up on the implementation of the general policy and decrees, draws up the UAE's annual budget and drafts new laws. The draft laws are submitted to the Federal National Council (FNC), before being raised to the Supreme Council for sanction.
The FNC is a 40-member parliamentary body, distributed on the basis of population size. Abu Dhabi and Dubai have eight seats each, Sharjah and Ras al-Khaimah have six each, and the remaining emirates have four each. Previously, the members were entirely selected by the rulers; but since 2006, half the members are selected through indirect elections, for which each ruler sets up an electoral college in his emirate. The FNC has consultative and supervisory roles. It is responsible for examining and amending all proposed federal laws.