Ministry of State for FNC Affairs Looks Back on 13 Years of Political Empowerment in the UAE

Dubai, September 17, 2019 – The Ministry of State for Federal National Council Affairs (MFNCA) organised an awareness lecture entitled ‘13 Years of Political Empowerment’ in collaboration with the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) of the Ministry of Cabinet Affairs and the Future, and with PMO staff in attendance.

The lecture is part of the Ministry’s efforts to promote a culture of political participation and incentivise citizens to actively participate in the current Federal National Council (FNC) elections. The MFNCA’s Undersecretary His Excellency Tariq Hilal Lootah addressed attendees at the lecture, underlining the vital role that the Ministry has played in the UAE’s political life over the course of 13 years – from the establishment of the FNC and the launch of the Political Empowerment Programme, to the first elections in 2006. The objective is to engage Emiratis in the political process, in line with the vision of the UAE’s wise leadership to empower individuals and involve them in the sustainable and comprehensive development of the UAE.

H.E. Lootah highlighted the Political Empowerment Programme launched by His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE, in 2005, and the tremendous role it played in setting the stage for citizens to be more engaged, in addition to empowering the FNC to assume its role as a supportive and advisory authority to the executive branch of the government, and promoting the concept of ‘Shura’ through a gradual process.

The MFNCA Undersecretary outlined the Council’s role to participants at the lecture, which is divided into two parts: a legislative role, where the Council discusses constitutional amendments, federal and financial draft laws, and an additional role that consists of addressing questions to H.H. the Prime Minister regarding the UAE’s general policies, or to individual Ministers to enquire about a topic specific to their Ministries, including looking into complaints from citizens.

H.E. Lootah spoke of the MFNCA’s plan to strengthen relations between the legislative and executive branches of government and promote a culture of political participation in the community, in an effort to spread happiness and fulfil the leadership’s directives and aspirations for the UAE to lead on all indexes and assume the highest global ranks for offering top-of-the-line services.

Furthermore, H.E drew attention to UAE President H.H. Sheikh Khalifa’s decision to raise female representation in the Federal National Council to 50%, which reflects H.H.’s vision to empower women and highlight their vital role in society.

On another note, H.E. Lootah explained the electoral process, which is held every four years, covering everything from determining the number of seats, opening the candidacy submission process, and appointment procedures, to voting practices at polling stations. H.E. underlined the evolution of the electoral process in the UAE From 2006 to 2019, expressing hopes that the turnout will continue to increase this year, reflecting the community’s awareness and passion for political participation.

“Supporting the electoral process embodies the ‘Shura’ approach that has always characterised the UAE,” H.E. Lootah said. “The growing number of participants over the past election cycles reflects the tremendous awareness among Emirati citizens of the FNC’s role in meeting their aspirations and debating the issues that matter most to them.”

“We are now in the midst of another elections cycle and another milestone along the UAE’s journey,” H.E. added. “This is an invitation for us all to assert our belonging to the UAE and our commitment to maintaining the country’s progress across all sectors.”

The lecture was marked by positive interactions between the employees at the Prime Minister’s Office and H.E. Tariq Lootah, which reflected the participants’ awareness of the importance of political participation and the Ministry’s role in that regard. Attendees posed questions regarding participation in the current electoral cycle, asserting their commitment to being part of it, and contributing to the sustainable and comprehensive development of the UAE.

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