Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Preparations for FNC Elections 2011 in full swing, says Committee

NEC launches Contact Centre and website to provide information on all
processes and procedures relating to elections

Abu Dhabi, July 21, 2011: The Election Management Committee of the National
Election Committee (NEC) has announced that preparations for the Federal National
Council elections set for 24th of September 2011 are proceeding to plan and in
accordance with the vision of the UAE leadership as well as the achievements of the

Addressing a press conference in Abu Dhabi today, His Excellency Tariq Hilal Lootah,
Undersecretary of the Ministry of State for Federal National Council Affairs and
a member of NEC, said that the election Management Committee has developed
a detailed operations plan for the electoral process and that the plan has made
significant progress well ahead of the Election Day.

The press conference was also attended by His Excellency Saeed Al Ghafli, Assistant
Undersecretary for Federal National Council and NEC’s Rapporteur, His Excellency
Sami Bin Adi, Assistant Undersecretary for Support Services at the Ministry of State
for Federal National Council Affairs and member of the Election Management
Committee, Dr Ali Al Khoury, Director General of Emirates Identity Authority and
member of the National Election Committee and the members of the various
committees constituted by NEC.

"The minimum strength of the Electoral College is set at 300 times the number
of FNC seats and there is no upper limit. Indications are that the total number of
Electoral College members will reach 80,000, which places a huge responsibility on
the Election Management Committee,” Lootah said.

"The Election Management Committee has an integrated action plan which takes
into account the larger representation expected in the Electoral College. Polling
centres will be opened in various locations based on the number of Electoral College
members and accessibility, and there will be more than one polling station in some
emirates, to make it convenient for voters," Lootah continued.

The National Election Committee has also launched a call centre and website on
the FNC Elections 2011 as part of increasing public awareness and facilitating
procedures associated with the elections. The initiative is in line with the educational
plan designed to educate Electoral College members on all aspects of the election

Enquiries on the electoral process and procedures can be had by dialling 600566661
or through the website

"The Contact Centre aims to provide Electoral College members and the public with
all the necessary information concerning voting and nomination as well as to answer
all election related questions. The website will also facilitate members’ access to
important information.”

"We have tried to build a comprehensive website that includes information related
to the election process, schedule of elections and information on the NEC, FNC as
well as the various committees, subcommittees and executive instructions," Lootah

"We were keen to ensure that the website has a Q&A section that addresses all
possible queries from the voter and the candidate as well as the public, so that the
information provided is complete and accurate," said Lootah.

"As soon as the members of the electoral bodies in each emirate are announced on
the 11th of July 2011 they will be published on the website so that any citizen can
verify whether his or her name is included in the Electoral College in his respective
emirate. Information on polling stations and the emirates’ committees will also be
available on the website as and when they are approved,” His Excellency concluded.

"The National Election Committee has adopted a comprehensive educational plan
to communicate effectively with citizens across all segments and organised several
lectures targeting universities and public sector leaders. NEC will continue to hold
seminars for different sectors in the next couple of weeks. NEC also conducted
awareness sessions for the heads of the Election Management Committee and
members to educate them about all aspects, rules and regulation of the election
process,” explained Lootah.

"The NEC will soon launch an sms programme which will include updates on the
elections, information regarding the UAE President’s programme for political
participation, importance of political information, election timetable and others. An
educational campaign for Electoral College members and the public through various
print, audio and visual media will also be launched to raise awareness on all aspects
of the election and its procedures," said Lootah.

His Excellency Saeed Al Ghafli Mentioned the general rules of the election
process: "The elections will happen by direct secret ballot. Voting will begin at 8 a.m.
and continue till 7 p.m. In case all the voters in the hall are not able to vote by 7
p.m., the polling period may be extended.”

"An electronic voting process will be adopted to avoid discrepancies. The election
centers will also be ready to deal with voters with special needs,” he added.

“The Election Management Committee is aware of the importance of having
qualified human resources for the successful conduct of the elections. The Election
Management Committee will assign qualified manpower to look after the technical
work associated with electronic voting system, and ensure the efficiency of the
polling stations. The personnel on ground will be divided to technical teams and
volunteers,” said His Excellency Sami Bin Adi.

“The Election Management Committee has enlisted about 300 volunteers in its
database to assist in the administration and operational work during the Election
Day. The Committee is about to sign a partnership agreement with Takatof to
manage and distribute volunteers across election centers in various emirates. The
Committee has also held four meetings with volunteers to brief them on their roles
during the elections.

"E-voting is considered to be one of the most efficient in ensuring a safe, effective
and convenient election process. The electronic voting system has been adopted
in many countries across the world and the UAE was the first Arab country in
the region to implement such an advanced system in 2006. The UAE adopts best
international practices in using e-voting systems and leading e-voting solutions
provider Logica Business and Technology has been chosen for the FNC Elections
2011,” concluded Bin Adi.

No comments: