ABU DHABI, (Pakistan Point News - 12th Jul, 2021) The Ministry of State for Federal National Council (MFNCA) has presented the success of its political engagement process at the third Forum of Electoral Management Bodies in the Arab States, with its theme 'Electoral Systems in Arab Countries'.
Held over three days, the virtual forum was organised by the League of Arab States’ Electoral Affairs Department, in conjunction with the United Nations Electoral Assistance Division and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)’s Regional Electoral Support for the Arab States.
Representing the UAE at the event was an official delegation headed by Sami bin Adi, Assistant Undersecretary for the Support Services Sector at the MFNCA, with representatives including officials and senior employees of the Council and its General Secretariat of the National Elections Committee (NEC). Also attending virtually were representatives of electoral administrations in the member states of the League of Arab States and of regional and international organisations specialising in electoral matters.
During the forum, the UAE delegation presented a white paper which highlighted the 2005 Political Empowerment Programme launched by His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE, in his speech on the UAE’s 34th National Day, which relayed a plan of action and an integrated national vision to activate the role of the Federal National Council (FNC), enhance political participation, and consolidate the Shura approach in gradual stages that align with the distinct values of Emirati society.
Sami bin Adi said, "This forum was an ideal opportunity to present the achievements made by the UAE in building a pioneering parliamentary experience, in accordance with the defined path of the Political Empowerment Programme of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, which aims to activate the role of the FNC as a supporting authority to the government to serve the country and its citizens. This comes in line with the values of participation and the Shura that will contribute to building a parliamentary experience commensurate with the UAE’s advanced position on all global indices."
He added, "This Electoral Management Bodies in the Arab States forum also allowed us to share the UAE’s model in managing electoral cycles, which has become a global benchmark. The model’s modern and innovative technologies support efforts in spreading a culture of political participation on a large scale. It also facilitates electoral processes where the previous four electoral cycle sessions having achieved effective participation by all groups and members of society."
The white paper highlighted the achievements of the electoral cycles and the techniques that were employed to facilitate participation. These include the electronic voting system (e-Voting) as one of the innovative initiatives that contributed to the abolition of paper lists/ballots to verify the identity of voters and reduce the time required to ensure the eligibility of people to cast their ballots from four minutes to one minute.
The e-voting system also shortened the time taken to cast electoral votes to two minutes instead of five minutes. The enhanced mechanisms were part of an integrated system to conduct the voting process, calculate and count the votes and extract the results promptly and accurately within only five minutes instead of the one day that it took previously.