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UNITED ARAB EMIRATES
Majlis Watani Itihadi (Federal National Council)

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GENERAL INFORMATION ABOUT THE PARLIAMENTARY CHAMBER

Parliament name (generic / translated) Majlis Watani Itihadi / Federal National Council
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Structure of parliament Unicameral
Affiliation to the IPU Yes
Affiliation date(s) 1977 -
LEADERSHIP
President Amal Abdulla Al Qubaisi (F) 
Notes Elected on 18 Nov. 2015.
Secretary General (vacant)  
COMPOSITION
Members (statutory / current number) 40 / 40
PERCENTAGE OF WOMEN


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Women (current number) 9 (22.50%)
Mode of designation indirectly elected 20
appointed 20
Notes Indirect elections by an electoral college.
Appointed members: appointed by the rulers of the various emirates.
Term 4 years
Last renewal dates 3 October 2015
(View details)
CONTACT INFORMATION
Address Federal National Council
P.O. Box 836 - ABU DHABI
(Export mailing lists)
Phone (9712) 681 20 00
Fax (9712) 681 28 46
E-mail info@almajles.gov.ae
Website
http://www.almajles.gov.ae/

ELECTORAL SYSTEM

Parliament name (generic / translated) Majlis Watani Itihadi / Federal National Council
Structure of parliament Unicameral
LEGAL FRAMEWORK
Electoral law 10 August 2006
Cabinet Order No (4 )of 2006, Last updated on 16 February 2011 (decree no. 2 of 2011)
Mode of designation indirectly elected 20
appointed 20
Constituencies 7 multi-member constituencies:
- 4 members each from Abu Dhabi and Dubai
- 3 members each from Sharjah and Ras al-Khaimah
- 2 members each from Ajman, Fujairah and Umm al-Quwain
Voting system Majority: Single Non-Transferable Vote (SNTV).
Each elector votes for one candidate in his/her Emirate.
Vacancies during the legislature are filled by the "next-in-line" candidate on the reserve list of the Emirate concerned.
Voting is not compulsory.
Voter requirements Requirements for membership of the Electoral College, a body which elects half (20) of the members of the Federal National Council:
- citizenship of the United Arab Emirates (including naturalized citizens)
- age: at least 25 years (the minimum age is decided by the ruler of each Emirate and may vary from one Emirate to another)
CANDIDATES
Eligibility Conditions vary in each of the seven Emirates
Condition for elected seats:
- membership of the Electoral College
General conditions:
- citizenship of the United Arab Emirates (including naturalized citizens)
- age: at least 25 years (the minimum age is decided by the ruler of each Emirate and may vary from one Emirate to another)
- Permanent residence in the Emirate in which the candidate is standing for election to the Federal National Council
- literacy
- good reputation
Incompatibilities - any public post in the Federal Government, including ministerial posts
Candidacy requirements - nomination by qualified electors
- deposit of 1,000 Emirati dirhams (non-reimbursable)

LAST ELECTIONS

Parliament name (generic / translated) Majlis Watani Itihadi / Federal National Council
Structure of parliament Unicameral
BACKGROUND
Dates of election / renewal (from/to) 3 October 2015
Timing and scope of renewal Since there are no political parties in the UAE, all candidates ran as independents. During election campaigning, many candidates focused on social issues, promising to provide better housing and more health services. Others focused on job creation and better educational services. The size of the Electoral College (a body which elects half (20) of the members of the Federal National Council) remained small but increased from 129,274 in 2011 to 224,279 in 2015. The government described the move as the leadership's willingness to "enable citizens to participate actively in the process of political development". Turnout increased from 27.25% to 35.29%. As in the 2011 elections, one woman was among the 20 winners. On 18 November, the newly elected members were sworn in alongside the 20 appointed members, including eight women.

The 2015 elections used a single-vote system (meaning each voter voted for only one candidate in his/her emirate). Previously, voters were allowed to vote for as many as half the number of seats from their respective emirates. Eligible voters outside the country were allowed to vote for the first time in 2015.
Date of previous elections: 24 September 2011

Timing of election: Upon normal expiry

Expected date of next elections: October 2019

Number of seats at stake: 20 (full renewal)

Number of candidates: 330 (252 men, 78 women)

Percentage of women candidates: 23.6%

Number of parties contesting the election: Not applicable*
*There are no political parties in the UAE

Number of parties winning seats: Not applicable.

Alternation of power: Not applicable*
*The monarchy

Number of parties in government: Not applicable.

Names of parties in government: Not applicable.

Date of the first session of the new parliament: 18 November 2015

Name of the new Speaker: Ms. Amal Abdulla Al Qubaisi
STATISTICS
Voter turnout
Round no 13 October 2015
Number of registered electors
Voters
Blank or invalid ballot papers
Valid votes
224'279
79'157 (35.29%)

Notes
Distribution of votes
Round no 1
Political group Candidates Votes % of votes
Distribution of seats
Round no 1
Political Group Total of seats
Distribution of seats according to sex
Men

Women

Percent of women
31

9

22.50%
Distribution of seats according to age
Distribution of seats according to profession
Comments
Note on the distribution of seats according to political group:
Not applicable: there are no political parties.

Note on the distribution of seats according to sex:
One woman was elected while eight others were appointed by the rulers of the constituent states.

Sources:
Federal National Council (12.10.2015, 19.11.2015)
http://www.thenational.ae

PRESIDENCY OF THE PARLIAMENTARY CHAMBER

Parliament name (generic / translated) Majlis Watani Itihadi / Federal National Council
Structure of parliament Unicameral
APPOINTMENT AND TERM OF OFFICE
Title Speaker of the Federal National Council
Term - duration: 4 years (term of House)
- reasons for interruption of the term: resignation, death, dissolution
Appointment - elected by all the Members of the Council
- the election is held at the first sitting of the newly elected Council or when a vacancy occurs
Eligibility - any Member of the Council can be a candidate
Voting system - vote by secret ballot
- if nobody obtains an absolute majority in the first round, a second round is held between the candidates who obtained the two highest score. In the event of a tie in the second round lots are drawn.
Procedures / results - the eldest Member presides over the Council during the voting
- the eldest Member announces the results without any delay
STATUS
Status - in the absence of the Chairman, one of the two Deputy Chairmen can assume his/her role and functions
Board - consists of the Chairman, two Deputy Chairmen and two controllers
Material facilities NA (no information received)
FUNCTIONS
Organization of parliamentary business - convenes sessions, in exceptional cases only
- establishes and modifies the agenda
- organizes the debates
Chairing of public sittings - can open, adjourn and close sittings
- ensures respect for provisions of the Constitution and Standing Orders
- makes announcements concerning the Council
- takes disciplinary measures in the event of disturbance, and lifts such measures
- establishes the list of speakers, gives and withdraws permission to speak
- authenticates the adopted texts and the records of debates
Special powers - recruits, assigns and promotes staff
- organizes the services of the Council
- is responsible for safety, and in this capacity, can call the police in the event of disturbance in the Council
- select the Members of delegations representing the Council within and outside the country
Speaking and voting rights, other functions - takes part in voting

This page was last updated on 8 November 2016
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