Dubai, Oct 2: The United Arab Emirates announced on Sunday that it would hold its first elections in December but only a small minority of citizens would have the vote and half of the Federal National Council’s members would remain appointed.
The elections are to be held on December 16, 18 and 20, in accordance with a decision originally taken by the UAE President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahayan last December, the official Wam news agency reported. Voters will elect half of the members of the 40-member FNC, which has powers to reject or amend government legislation but no authority to initiate bills of its own.
“The electorate is made up of a total of 6,689 citizens, 1,189 of them women,” said the cabinet decision quoted by Wam.
The Sultanate of Oman introduced indirect elections to an advisory council in 1991, and three years later, it became the first Gulf Arab country to give women the right to vote and run for public office.