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14% of Emiratees to vote in elections 10, July 2011

Posted by thegulfblog.com in The Emirates.
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Around 129,000 or 14% of Emiratees will be eligible to vote in the elections on 24th September 2011 to elect half of the members of the Federal National Council.

To put this another way, only 1.6% of the entire population of the Emirates will be voting. Or, to look at this more positively, considering less than 7,000 Emiratees were eligible to vote in the last elections, clearly some progress – albeit from an absurd base – is being made.

Yet there are greater issues afoot. Not only is the Federal National Council one of the region’s most rubber stamping of rubber stamping institutions, but there are serious problems to do with freedom of expression currently plaguing the UAE, from the removal of the Gulf Research Centre to a severe crack-down on those who – politely – request more democratic freedoms. I’ll let the Economist take up the story.

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Comments»

1. tom - 10, July 2011

Surely it’s Emiratis, not Emiratees…

thegulfblog.com - 10, July 2011

Depends what I feel like on a given day…

2. Ahmed - 11, July 2011

Are you suggesting that foreigners should have the right to vote? I was an expat in the UAE, I never felt that I had to have the right to vote. Migrant labour (both white and blue collar) and immigrants are two wholly different concepts.

thegulfblog.com - 11, July 2011

Depends how long they live there for, I’d have thought.

3. Rupert Neil Bumfrey - 12, July 2011

I do believe expansion of Electoral Roll is a good thing, and the red herring of expat’ votes is exactly that!

Nobody seems able to answer my simple question: How were the number of voters chosen?

The graphic in this link http://gulfnews.com/news/gulf/uae/government/uae-aims-to-be-the-best-democracy-1.837244
highlights my puzzlement.

Any ideas?

thegulfblog.com - 12, July 2011

Alas, no: sorry! If you find out, let me know.

To some degree, you’re right: the percentage of ex-pat not voting is a red herring. I still think it’s useful as a reminder of the make-up of the country, though. Also, it becomes less and less of a red herring – if you see what I mean – the longer people live in the UAE: then it becomes an issue.

4. Ahmed - 12, July 2011

There is no reason for it to be an issue. Mr Roberts you live in Qatar, having elections there would result in Qatari’s giving up control over the country and its wealth overnight. I was in the UAE on a residence visa, you are in Qatar on a residence visa (presumably, maybe you have wasta…). It would be suicide for the Gulf States to allow expats to work, besides very few stay that many years and those who do are only staying for the money, as long as the monetary benefits are good they put up with it.

5. Ahmed - 12, July 2011

forgot to add this:
http://gulfnews.com/polopoly_fs/1.836783.1310370362!menu/standard/file/fnc_voters.pdf
I wouldn’t want all my information on a list….plus that creates issues for the fairness and integrity of the vote.

thegulfblog.com - 12, July 2011

Come on…I was hardly writing a manifesto for the vote to be given to all. The point only comes into focus regarding those who have been resident in the Gulf for decades. There are more than you’d think, I might venture to say.


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