A senior official of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) said on Sunday that women make 97 out of the 347 registered candidates for the upcoming FNC (the Federal National Council) elections on Oct. 3, the state news agency WAM reported.
Mohammed Gargash, state minister for FNC Affairs, said the share of female candidates rose to 27.95 percent this year, up from 18.16 percent in the 2011 elections when 85 out of 468 candidates were female.
In the 2006 and 2011 elections, only one woman was elected, while eight female members were appointed by the rulers of the seven sheikhdoms of the UAE.
Gargash hailed the rising number of women who aim to contribute to the political process and the future of the Gulf Arab state.
He said that names announced on Sunday are not the final approved list of candidates. The final list will be announced by the National Election Committee on Aug. 31 with the conclusion of the appeals period, he said, adding that “each candidate will receive a reference number which must be used in their election campaign.”
The FNC was created in 1971 with all members being appointed by the rulers of the seven emirates until 2006. The FNC’s primary mission is to consult the UAE government, to debate issues on a federal and emirate level.
Since 2006, half of the FNC’s members are elected while the other half is appointed. The FNC elections were held every four to five years for half of the 40 seats in order to increase participation of the general public in the political process of the Gulf monarchy.
In the 2011 elections, only 129,274 UAE nationals or 12 percent of all Emirati citizens were eligible to vote. And Only 28 percent of eligible voters went to the polls in 2011.
According to UAE official data, 224,270 voters were registered in this year’s electoral base. Enditem