Abu Dhabi – The National Election Committee (NEC) has issued the Federal National Council (FNC) Elections Report 2019, showcasing the series of milestones accomplished at every stage of the fourth FNC elections held last year.
The report offers comprehensive information covering every stage of the 2019 elections, including technical and administrative aspects, and dividing the data along key categories, most notably, awareness and education activities and holistic training programmes for staff of all specialities working on election committees and various electoral activities.
The report’s various chapters include, first and foremost, the results of the FNC elections, along with important statistics. The legislation chapter, meanwhile, highlights the mechanism adopted to implement Presidential Resolution No. (1) of 2019 to increase women’s representation in the Council to 50%, issued by UAE President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan. Additionally, the report contains a chapter on the organisation, operation, and preparation of all stages of the electoral process, from polling to counting and announcing the results.
His Excellency Abdulrahman bin Mohammed Al Owais, Minister of Health and Prevention, Minister of State for FNC Affairs and NEC Chairman, said: “The National Election Committee is committed to issuing this report after every elections; it offers evidence of the success of the UAE’s electoral process, embodying the significant progress made in promoting a culture of political participation among Emiratis and their enthusiasm to contribute to the UAE’s parliamentary model.”
“The report systematically documents the successes and accomplishments made during the 2019 elections,” H.E. explained. “It provides a comprehensive look at all stages of the electoral process, quantifying them with numbers, facts, and evidence that highlight the maturity of parliamentary life in the UAE. It also underlines the level of public awareness of the importance of the Federal National Council and the role that its members play in enhancing the performance of key sectors across the country.”
H.E. Al Owais asserted that such achievements could not have been possible without the unlimited support of UAE President H.H. Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan and the Political Empowerment Programme he launched in 2005. The close and continuous attention of H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE, Ruler of Dubai, was another indispensable factor in the successful implementation of this Programme, which outlined a roadmap for the inaugural FNC elections, setting in motion a series of accomplishments that led to the fourth elections in 2019.”
His Excellency noted that the success of this electoral cycle can be attributed to the concerted efforts of all relevant entities, individuals, and institutions, who worked together to organise an electoral process that meets the highest standards of accuracy, integrity, and transparency.
Largest Turnout in History of FNC Elections
The report revealed that the 2019 elections witnessed the largest number of voters in the history of FNC elections, where electoral college lists consisted of 337,738 members, a 50.58% increase from 2015, when the figure hovered around 224,281 citizens. Emirati women were strongly represented in the 2019 elections, making up 50.62% of the electoral lists, whereas men accounted for 49.38%. This underlines the tremendous faith that the UAE leadership has in women and their role of women in developing the parliamentary process, serving the country, and providing the best services to citizens.
The 2019 elections also witnessed a remarkable involvement from young people, where people aged 21 to 40 made up 61.32% of electoral college lists, 30.04% of whom were aged 21 to 30, while the remaining 31.28% were 31 to 40 years old. This paved the way for young Emiratis to participate in large numbers in the elections, which covered all regions of the UAE.
According to the report, the results of the 2019 FNC elections recorded a 48.50% increase in the number of voters who cast their ballots, compared with the previous elections cycle. A remarkable 95% of voters and candidates reported a high level of satisfaction with electoral procedures, which saw 1,170 employees recruited to operate polling centres, while 725 journalists and reporters worked to cover electoral activities.
The Elections Report 2019 went on to reveal that the total number of ballots cast in the UAE amounted to 117,592 – 34.81% of the total number of electoral colleges members. Moreover, the number of votes cast at the UAE’s embassies and diplomatic missions notably increased by over 25% from 2015, where 1,849 Emirati nationals voted abroad, up from 1,378 voters in the third FNC elections cycle in 2015.
Voter turnout in the 2019 elections varied between 21% and 56%, the report indicated, where the Emirate of Umm Al Quwain recorded the highest participation rate of 56%. Furthermore, the data went on to show that awareness of the importance of participating in political life hit 92.8% among targeted segments.
On another note, the report indicated that 4,553 employees and volunteers worked to organise the elections, which also enlisted 339 technical supervisors.
The report indicated that the highest proportion of voters cast their ballots at 5:00 pm, amounting to 16,623 votes, whereas the lowest turnout was recorded at 8:00 am totalling 2,375 voters. Men accounted for 59% of all votes, while women made up the remaining 41%. The largest recorded turnout of female voters was 43.8% in Umm Al Quwain; meanwhile the largest turnout among men was 64.53% in Ajman.
From an organisational aspect, the findings of the report indicated that the National Election Committee’s administration of the fourth FNC elections was successful. Voters were welcomed in all 39 polling centres, where 1,170 volunteers in administrative and organisational functions were recruited to guide voters, instruct them on the use of the electronic voting devices, and answer their questions. All Electoral Committees worked to implement the action plan to process voter activities at the polling centres, reducing the time necessary for every voter to cast their ballot to just three minutes.
The report featured the total number of voters recorded in each emirate, where Abu Dhabi led the way with 35,790 votes cast, while Dubai reported 12,891 and Sharjah had 22,451. Meanwhile, Ajman reported processing 4,393 votes, whereas Umm Al Quwain processed 3,778, Ras Al Khaimah had 22,172, and Fujairah 16,117.
The five polling centres with the highest turnout were Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC), RAK Exhibition Centre, Al Ain Convention Centre – Al Khabisi, Fujairah Exhibition Centre, and Sharjah Cultural and Chess Club. These centres alone accounted for 48% of the total number of votes cast.