By Elsa Baxter
Future plans being considered that could see UAE citizens directly electing FNC members.
The UAE Federal National Council is taking steps to allow UAE citizens to directly elect 50 percent of its members in the future, it has been reported.
“We will be doing this in phases, as part of our efforts to further the quality of democracy in the governing structure of the country,” Abdul Aziz Al Ghurair, FNC speaker, told the Khaleej Times.
“Currently, we are in the phase where we are planning to expand the electoral college for electing the members of the parliament or the FNC,” he said.
At the moment, the rulers of the seven emirates which make up the UAE nominate members to the electoral college, which in turns elects FNC representatives.
“The question as to whether we want to step up the share of elected members in the FNC to 100 percent will be considered only after we complete this phase,” Ghurair said.
“When we achieve 50 percent elected representation, we will evaluate our experience, then consider the need for further expansion. Eventually (full democratic representation) is going to happen in the UAE, but if you ask me when, I don’t know,” he told the paper.
However, Ghurair ruled out full multi-party democracy in the UAE.
“Our FNC members should have allegiance to the citizens and to UAE, and not to the partisan interest of a political party, especially in periods of transformation,” he said.