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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.