Strengthening the Role of the Federal National Council

  • 15 July 2015

During his meeting at Al Bateen Palace with the Speaker of the Federal National Council (FNC) and members of the Council at the end of its 15th legislative term, the day before yesterday, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces (may God protect him), expressed the wise leadership’s vision to strengthen FNC’s role so that it performs its duties to the fullest. His Highness emphasized the keenness of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan (may God protect him) to strengthen the FNC’s role and enhancing its performance in order for it to remain a platform for constructive dialogue that serves the interests of the nation and its citizens.

The UAE’s wise leadership appreciates the FNC’s role in the service of the nation and its international affairs since its inception in 1972. FNC has become the voice of the people and of their ambitions and aspirations. The leadership spares no effort in providing appropriate conditions for the FNC to perform its regulatory and legislative duties to the fullest. While it has received the leadership’s support and the government has been fully cooperating with it all these years the FNC has become an example of the sense of national responsibility and sincere, responsible and conscious efforts for the homeland. This has been evident in the FNC’s keenness to raise issues of concern to citizens related to their present and the future.

Hence, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan expressed his gratitude and appreciation for the efforts made by members of the Council in addressing national and social issues and in opening channels of communication between the leadership and citizens by incorporating their views, needs and ideas. The ‘phase of empowerment’ announced by President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan in 2005, gave priority to developing the FNC and increasing its powers. This led to the first electoral experience in 2006 and constitutional amendments, approved in January 2009, expanded the powers of the Council. These steps emphasize the keenness of the wise leadership to support the Council, enable it to complement the executive authority, and to be more effective and closer to the issues facing the country and the concerns of its citizens.

The second electoral experience, in September 2011, furthered the political development process in the country, especially with the expansion of the electoral college compared to the 2006 elections. The emphasis this time was on stronger representation of women and the youth. The number of electoral college members this year became at least 300 times the number of FNC seats, compared to 100 times during the 2006 elections. With the upcoming FNC elections in October 2015 the UAE will enter into a new phase with its rich and inspiring experience and enhancing popular participation. The list of electoral colleges have been increased to include 224,279 members representing all the emirates, with up to 66 percent increase compared to 2011 elections, which amounted to 135,308 citizens.

His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan said that this shows that the UAE has taken important and effective steps on the road to expanding popular participation in, and development of, the political life. The development witnessed by the FNC in recent years demonstrates the wise leadership’s determination to strengthen its role, expand its powers and consolidate the political and constitutional structures of the UAE. This makes the UAE’s experience of political empowerment a model of positive engagement with contemporary changes as well as the preservation of culture in the country.