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Final list of 341 FNC poll candidates announced.

Abu Dhabi: A total of 341 candidates can now apply to the emirate committees across the UAE to obtain permits for their election campaigns which start on September 6 and last for 25 days.

Applications must include statements of planned activities and events such as television and newspaper advertisements, gatherings, street signboards and frequency of each, cost and sources of funding.

The National Election Committee on Monday announced the final list of candidates for the Federal National Council Elections 2015 following the end of the appeals period, which witnessed three appeal petitions against two candidates from Sharjah and one from Abu Dhabi. In addition, three candidates withdrew their nomination while a candidate from Ras Al Khaimah faced election violation charges.

The NEC accepted two appeal petitions against two candidates from Sharjah and rejected another against a candidate from Abu Dhabi after a review process and in accordance with a report issued by the appeals committee.

The committee also cancelled a nomination request from a candidate from Ras Al Khaimah, based on a report issued by the legal committee regarding a violation related to the electoral process. With three candidates withdrawing their nominations, the final electoral list includes 341 men and women nominees from an initial pool of 347.

Dr Anwar Mohammad Gargash, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Minister of State for Federal National Council Affairs and Chairman of the National Election Committee, said the review process of the appeals took place in accordance with legal procedures outlined by the Committee, which transfers the appeals request to an independent committee headed by a judge.

Dr Gargash also stated that the National Election Committee agreed to the final decision by the Appeals Committee in terms of validating the appeals requests and electoral violations. The manner in which the appeals requests have been handled is a reflection of the advancement in the Committee's operations and supporting mechanism for receiving appeals applications, he said.

Dr Gargash said the appeal petitions against candidates in the Federal National Council Elections 2015 is considered unprecedented when compared to previous elections carried out in the UAE. The elections of 2006 and 2011 did not register any appeals or cancellation of nomination requests due to electoral violations, such as the one that has occurred in Ras Al Khaimah.

The final list of candidates are as follows: 96 candidates from Abu Dhabi, 62 candidates from Dubai, 61 from Sharjah, 41 from Ras Al Khaimah, 23 from Ajman, 20 from Umm Al Quwain, and 38 candidates from Fujairah.

The proportion of women in the final list of candidates is 22 per cent, with 76 women contesting in all the emirates. The majority of the candidates are in the age group of 40-60, with 205 candidates accounting for 60 per cent of the total candidates. Those below the age of 40 make up 38 per cent with 129 candidates.

In terms of academic level of candidates, 49 per cent, constituting 166 candidates, have attained state level education. The proportion of the candidates who have reached intermediate level account for 31 per cent represented by 106 candidates, while those below high secondary level make up 14 per cent with 48 candidates.

Statistics of candidates according to the work segment is as follows: former members of Federal National Council (5 candidates), police personnel (9 candidates), military personnel (37 candidates), federal public sector employees (51 candidates), local public sector staff (69 candidates), and private sector workers (170 candidates).

Each candidate has been given a reference number that can be used in campaign activities. The first digit of the number symbolises the emirate number while the second and third are random numbers issued through an electronic system.

According to the timetable of the Federal National Council Election 2015, a candidate can withdraw their application not later than September 14.

Rules for candidates

The National Elections Committee: warned against illegal practices ahead of the upcoming Federal National Council elections. These include buying votes by way of gifts and promises and exaggerations in campaigns that may lead to slander and insults.

It set a list of campaigning rules that govern the 2015 elections:

Candidates must adhere to the laws of their emirate.

They must not disrespect values and principles of the society.

They must not show disregard to public order and morals.

They must not encourage any religious sentiment in their campaigns.

They must not receive funds from foreign groups or individuals, and spend a maximum of Dh2 million.

They must reveal their source of funding to their emirate's election committee.

They must not give or promise to give monetary gifts in exchange for votes.

They must not deceive voters.

Any violation of the rules may result in the candidate losing the right to stand for elections and the right to vote and he or she may be subject to paying a fine of Dh5,000.

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Publication:Gulf News (United Arab Emirates)
Date:Sep 1, 2015
Words:825
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