H.E. Abdul Rahman Al Owais heads 1st meeting of the National Elections Committee

16 January 2023

Abu Dhabi, UAE – 16 January 2023 – The National Elections Committee (NEC) of the UAE held its first meeting in the Presidential Court in Abu Dhabi, chaired by His Excellency Abdul Rahman bin Mohammed Al Owais, Minister of Health and Prevention, and Minister of State for Federal National Council (FNC) Affairs, to discuss preparations and procedures ahead of the FNC elections set to take place in 2023.

The meeting was attended by NEC members, namely H.E. Abdullah Muhair Al Ketbi, Minister of Federal Supreme Council Affairs; H.E. Noura Al Kaabi, Minister of Culture and Youth; H.E. Maj. Gen. Khalifa Hareb Al Khaili, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Interior; H.E. Saeed Mohammad Al Eter Al Dhanhani, Chair of the UAE Government Media Office; H.E. Dr. Mohamed Hamad Al Kuwaiti, Head of Cybersecurity in the UAE Government; H.E. Maj. Gen. Suhail Saeed Al Khaili, Director-General of the Federal Authority for Identity, Citizenship, Customs and Ports Security; H.E. Majed Sultan Al Mesmar, Director-General of the Telecommunications and Digital Government Regulatory Authority (TDRA); and H.E. Abdulla Nasser Lootah, Director General of the Prime Minister’s Office at the Ministry of Cabinet Affairs.

Attendees at the meeting also included H.E. Tariq Hilal Lootah, Under-Secretary of The Ministry of State for Federal National Council Affairs (MFNCA); H.E. Counsellor Ahmed Mohammed Al Khatri, Chairman of Ras Al Khaimah Courts Department; H.E. Adviser Dr. Mansour Mohammed bin Nassar, Chairman of the Sharjah Government Legal Department; H.E. Dr. Amina Al Rostamani, Executive Board Member, Shareholder, and Director at AW Rostamani Groug; and Sami Mohammed bin Adi, Assistant Under-Secretary for the Support Services Sector at the Ministry.

H.E. Abdul Rahman Al Owais began the meeting with words of praise for Decision No. (16) of 2022 by UAE President His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan to amend some provisions of UAE President’s Decision No. (3) of 2006 on Determining the Method for Selecting Representatives of the Emirates in the Federal National Council, noting that the Decision reflects the forward-looking vision of the wise leadership in supporting and strengthening the UAE’s parliamentary experience, empowering citizens to contribute effectively to national decision-making, and maintaining the empowerment process in the lead-up to the UAE Centenary.

Furthermore, H.E. indicated that the Decision forms part of the wise and insightful vision of H.H. Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE; H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE, Ruler of Dubai; and Their Highnesses the rulers of the emirates, to strengthen the foundations of the Shura principle, promote a culture of political participation in the UAE community, and complete the empowerment process established by the late Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

H.E. Al Owais went on to congratulate NEC members for the confidence that the wise leadership placed in them when selecting them to become members of the Committee, noting that forming the National Elections Committee aims to brings together various experiences and diverse competencies to ensure that the Committee carries out its duties in an optimal manner to organise a successful electoral process with complete integrity and transparency in its procedures, and with accurate results that inspire confidence from all parties involved.

H.E. reiterated the NEC’s commitment to uniting efforts in order to fulfil the vision of the UAE’s wise leadership, keep making remarkable achievements in the country’s parliamentary experience, and continue to implement the Political Empowerment Programme. The NEC aims to enhance citizens’ participation in national decision-making gradually, in accordance with a calculated phased timeline, in order to meet the needs and aspirations of the Emirati community, outlined a bright future for coming generations, support the country’s sustainable development, and strengthen the UAE’s advancement over the next 50 years.

Participants at the meeting reviewed the legal framework for the Federal National Council elections, and explored proposals for enhancing the voting process. The Committee discussed the activities of the Smart Systems Committee in an effort to ensure the provision of the best voting systems and procedures that meet the highest international standards.

The meeting went on to discuss proposals regarding the formation of the electoral college and of sub-committees, as well as plans related to the timetable for the upcoming FNC elections.

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