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Sun 14 Aug 2011 10:19 AM

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Candidate registrations begin ahead of UAE elections

Around 20 seats in Federal National Council’s Sept 24 elections are up for nomination

Candidate registrations begin ahead of UAE elections
Half of the 40 seats in UAEs Federal National Council are open for nominations

Candidates planning to contest elections in September for UAE's Federal National Council began registering their nominations papers on Sunday, newswire WAM reported.

Half of the 40 seats in UAE's Federal National Council are open for nominations and candidates can submit application papers from August 14-17 between 3am until 3pm.

The National Election Commission (NEC) will announce the preliminary list of candidates on August 20.

A final list of nominations will be issued on August 28 and candidates have until September 21 to withdraw if they so wish, the WAM statement added.

Close to 129,000 voters are eligible to cast their vote in the elections on September 24.

In a move reflective of the growing importance of social media in Middle East politics, Dr Anwar Mohammed Gargash, minister of state for foreign affairs, Minister of State for Federal National Council affairs and chairman of the National Election Committee announced that he has joined Twitter under the handle @AnwarGargash.

Dr Gargash is the first UAE federal minister to officially join the popular social media site and plans to use it to communicate with voters and nominees ahead of the September election.

The move will enable the minister to directly communicate with people from all walks of the society interested in the FNC elections, WAM said.