Federal National Council elections in UAE: Registration of candidates starts online from August 15

Emiratis cast their vote for Federal National Council (FNC) elections in Sharjah.
Archive image of voting during a previous edition of the FNC elections in Sharjah
Image Credit: Virendra Saklani/Gulf News archives

Abu Dhabi: The registration for members of electoral bodies aiming to contest for half of the Federal National Council (FNC) seats for the 18th legislative term will start on August 15. The registration process, set to span four days, will be facilitated through the electronic system designed for candidate registration.

The National Elections Committee is scheduled to release the terms and the exact date for candidature tomorrow, Monday, following the election timetable that was previously disclosed. As per the guidelines, every electoral college member has the privilege to participate in the elections in their respective emirate, provided they adhere to specific conditions.

After registration, the committee will announce the preliminary lists of candidates on August 25, with objections to nominations to last for three days starting August 26. The final decision on appeals, based on legal opinion reports by the Appeals Committee, will be shared on August 29. These decisions will be conclusive and exempt from further appeals. The committee has slated September 2 for the proclamation of the final list of candidates.

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Prospective candidates are expected to satisfy certain criteria, such as:

• Citizenship and permanent residency in the emirate they intend to represent.

• Minimum age of 25 years by the candidacy closing date.

• A record of good conduct, without convictions for crimes involving moral turpitude unless rehabilitated legally.

• Adequate literacy levels.

Candidates are required to submit their applications following the regulations and procedures set by the National Committee within the designated period. An essential part of this application is a statement confirming the payment of Dh3,000 to the committee’s treasury, a non-refundable amount. While candidates can retract their candidacy by notifying the emirate Committee within a specified period, certain provisions apply based on their professional background.

Voters that fulfil the legal prerequisites can also run for a Council membership. However, they must provide a medical report, authenticated by the Medical Committee, outlining their disability details. In situations where the number of electoral candidates equals the required electable count in an emirate, these candidates will be automatically approved by acclamation.

Leave from work

In line with current human resources legislation, any employee applying will be considered on leave for the duration specified by the National Committee. If the applicant doesn’t secure a win in the elections, they can resume their job. The time taken off will either be deducted from their accrued leave or treated as unpaid leave if they don’t have adequate leave balance.

Military personnel need to provide an approved leave from their employer for the specified period. Members of the judiciary must show evidence of their definitive resignation when applying. Current Council members will be viewed as taking a break from their council duties during the specified time-frame.

Voters with determination (people of determination) who fulfil the necessary legal criteria can contend for a Council seat. However, they must provide a medical report, attested by the Medical Committee, that details their disability, its severity, and how it might influence their capacity to perform Council-related tasks. If the count of election candidates matches the slots available for the emirate, the candidates will be unanimously accepted.