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Ministry of State for Federal National Council Affairs Releases Elections 2015 Report

The report comes as part of the Ministry’s contribution to UAE Innovation Week 2016


H.E. Noura Al Kaabi: We are always looking to draw lessons from our experiences; this report allows us to look back on our processes and plans and build on them to keep improving our electoral process moving forward

Abu Dhabi, November 23, 2016 

The Ministry of State for Federal National Council (FNC) Affairs released the Federal National Council Elections 2015 Report. The report looks back on all stages of the FNC Elections 2015 to examine the results and underline the milestones achieved – the objective being to draw lessons from the experience and use them to improve future elections.

The report highlights the fourth-generation government excellence standards adopted by the Federal National Council Elections Committee, and underlines the Committee’s role in promoting the efficient use of innovation, future forecasting systems, and smart applications to improve the quality of work and achieve tangible results – in addition to pre-planning, a clear vision, and the efficient allocation of resources.

The study canvassed 1,411 voters, candidates, and other community members of all ages about the quality of services provided at polling stations during early and official voting, in order to measure customer satisfaction. Over 92.9 per cent of voters and candidates were satisfied with the electoral process and procedures at all polling stations.

Along with the Federal National Council Elections 2015 Report, the Federal National Council Elections Committee published supplements about governance, election results, and statistics.

Her Excellency Noura bint Mohammed Al Kaabi, Minister of Federal National Council Affairs, said: “This is a highly important report, as it allows us to thoroughly look into the results and achievements registered during the elections, which were a milestone in the political empowerment programme launched by His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE. It encourages us to learn from the results to further develop the programme.”

H.E. Al Kaabi added: “We are always looking to draw lessons from our experiences; this report allows us to look back on our processes and plans and build on them to keep improving our electoral process moving forward, adhering to the highest standards and best international electoral practices.”

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Overall Satisfaction in the Electoral Process

As many as 94.8 per cent or respondents expressed satisfaction with regards to service at the polling stations, and contentment with the modern techniques used – namely, the electronic voting and identity verification systems. Meanwhile, 95 per cent of respondents were satisfied with the time span allotted to the voting process, and 78 per cent were happy with call centre services.

A total of 1,378 votes were cast in the early voting stage at the embassies and diplomatic missions of the UAE around the world, the report shows, revealing that holding elections in the UAE’s embassies encouraged overseas Emiratis to exercise their voting rights. 

The report goes on to disclose that the Federal National Council Elections Committee allowed UAE-based public-interest organisations to assist in monitoring the elections by sending representatives to any polling station in the country, provided they follow the rules set by the Committee in this regard. Two such organisations had made formal requests to participate in the monitoring process, the report reveals: The Emirates Association for Lawyers and Legal Consultants, which sent 10 representatives; and the Emirates Human Rights Association (EHRA), sending 13 representatives.

Women and the FNC Elections 2015

On another note, the study affirms that Emirati women were adequately represented and received widespread support, adding that women’s participation in the Cabinet and the Federal National Council reflects the political maturity of the UAE society and leadership, and their confidence in the country’s women and their ability to play a vital role in building the future.

The Campaigns

The 2015 FNC Elections saw 330 candidates run for office, their electoral campaigns focused on the social issues that most interest UAE voters, such as the demographic imbalance and national identity, job opportunities, Emiratisation, education, healthcare, women’s rights, children’s rights, housing, and improving citizens’ quality of life. This, the report concluded, shows candidates’ awareness of the problems and concerns that face citizens living in the UAE, and their dedication to resolve them.

Voter Turnout

The study reveals that the 2015 FNC Elections saw a notable uptick in voter turnout, when compared to previous elections; this mirrors the increase in the total number of registered voters in the UAE, which reached 224,281 voters. Of the registered voters, 79,157 cast their votes in 2015 – 35.29 per cent of the general electorate. 

The large turnout in the 2015 elections reflects the growing awareness around their importance, the report explains, and highlights the electorate’s determination to ensure the success of the political empowerment programme. The FNC Elections Committee’s newly introduced mechanisms – namely, early voting, voting from abroad, and the ability to vote from any emirate regardless of which emirate the voter hails from – equally contributed to the impressive turnout.

According to a study carried out by the Election Management Committee, the report says, the largest turnout (by percentage points) was seen in the Emirate of Umm Al Quwain, where 70.05 per cent of registered voters took part in the elections, followed by Fujairah with a 48.80 per cent turnout rate, and Ajman with 49.79 per cent. Meanwhile, 41.85 per cent of registered voters in Ras Al Khaimah, and 38.72 per cent of those in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, cast their votes in the 2015 elections. Finally, turnout rates in the emirates of Sharjah and Dubai reached 29.69 and 22.16 per cent, respectively.

A closer look at the distribution of the UAE general electorate reveals that the Emirate of Abu Dhabi accounts for 40 per cent of all registered voters in the country, followed by the Emirate of Dubai, which accounts for nearly a quarter (24 per cent) of all registered Emirati voters. Meanwhile, 14 per cent of voters reside in Sharjah, and 12 per cent in Ras Al Khaimah. The emirates of Fujairah, Ajman, and Umm Al Quwain, account for five, three, and two per cent of the UAE’s general electorate, respectively.

Transparency and Governance

The study goes on to underline the FNC Elections Committee’s commitment to promoting transparency, good governance, accountability, and collective decision-making. These measures seek to ensure the integrity and neutrality of all committee members, and establish an effective and comprehensive framework for governance of the electoral process, regulating such activities as human resources management, financial management, information management, project management, and resource and facility management, among others.

Tasks, Responsibilities, and Preparations

The Committee worked to distribute tasks and responsibilities by first defining the main processes and the supporting ones, then by setting an organisational structure that facilitates the implementation of these tasks, in line with international standards for electoral management. What is more, the Committee followed the rules and regulations governing the process of forming its major and minor commissions, assigning experts to take part in them and work to develop plans and initiatives.

The report detailed the preparation process for the elections – which went through several stages from forecasting the future to planning the electoral process and regulatory services – all the way to execution phase, touching on subjects such as project management, smart government, innovation, human resources, election-centre management.

To view the full report, please visit: https://www.mfnca.gov.ae/ or https://www.uaenec.ae/ 

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