17 December 2006

United Arab Emirates Hold Historic First Elections

Local men cast ballots in the United Arab Emirates' first elections on Saturday to choose half the members of an advisory assembly for the Gulf Arab nation in Abu Dhabi December 16, 2006. Rulers of the seven emirates in the UAE federation have selected 6,689 voters, just under one percent of the 800,000-strong native population, to select 20 members of the Federal National Council (FNC) from 439 men and woman, while the rest of the representatives will be appointed.
16 Dec 2006 REUTERS/Stringer/United Arab Emirates

A woman was among the six victorious candidates in the first elections to the Federal National Council in Abu Dhabi and Fujairah on Dec. 16, 2006.

"The next stage of our march requires giving a wider role to the Federal National Council (FNC), allowing it to support and guide the executive authority," said President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed al-Nahayan, quoted by state news agency, WAM.

"In light of the changes and reforms our region is witnessing ... we decided to begin activating the National Council by electing half of its members," he said in a speech marking the UAE's national day.

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