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Gargash chairs National Election Committee meeting.

Dubai: Preparations for the Federal National Council Elections 2015 have begun with the first meeting of Emirates Committees held in Dubai.

Dr Anwar Mohammed Gargash, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Minister of State for Federal National Council Affairs and Chairman of the National Elections Committee, chaired the first meeting attended by members of the Emirates Committees.

Gargash stressed the success of the electoral process is a shared responsibility that offers the opportunity for everyone to contribute to the promotion of parliamentary life in the UAE. Emirates Committees were formed last month in each emirate to assist in the preparations for the FNC elections.

Gargash also commended the committees for their pivotal role in the electoral scene in the UAE, especially in the intensive preparations for the conduct of the FNC elections.

"As we embark on a new electoral process, we are keen to be successful in this effort as we were in the last elections, considering it a crucial step in strengthening the march of the UAE towards growth and development. The preparation for the elections reflects the aspirations of our leadership in building a politically conscious society and contributing to the objectives of the political empowerment programme of the UAE," Gargash said. He added that the committees support the National Election Committee and help implement the optimal targets for the 2015 electoral process.

The meeting, which was attended by Tareq Hilal Lootah, Undersecretary of the Ministry of State for FNC Affairs and member of the NEC, and Dr Saeed Al Gafli, Assistant Undersecretary for FNC Affairs and member of the Emirates Committees, discussed the next phase of the preparation for the 2015 elections. It also looked at the main tasks before the Emirates Committees, particularly with regard to ensuring optimal application of operational instructions governing the electoral process.

The committee members were also briefed on all the plans and arrangements made by the NEC on the technical and administrative issues related to the electoral process.

The Emirates Committees handles coordination with the NEC for technical and administrative matters relating to the conduct of elections in each emirate. They also coordinate the communication process on the management of elections, monitor the implementation of the campaign, and report observations on any violations to the NEC.

The NEC sub-committees include the Emirates Committees, the Election Commission Management, Media Committee, and Security Committee.

The last FNC elections were held on September 24, 2011.

The Electoral College comprising 129,000 Emirati men and women selected by the Rulers' Courts, vote to choose 20 FNC members while the remaining 20 members of the 40-member council will be appointed by the Rulers. A total of 468 candidates contested the last elections.

The FNC has worked towards fulfilling its responsibility of being the interface between the government and the people since it was established in 1972.

Voting to elect half of the FNC members first started in 2006. Previously, all of the 40 FNC members were selected by the Rulers.

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Publication:Gulf News (United Arab Emirates)
Geographic Code:7UNIT
Date:Feb 8, 2015
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