Nine fold increase in number of Emiratis allowed to vote
The Federal National Council is most representative body in the UAE government. It is a talking shop (it makes recommendations to the rulers), but has no legislative, executive or judicial powers. A limited number of nationals, chosen by the rulers of the seven emirates, are given the franchise to vote. This year the number of voters has been increased 9 fold.
Dr Anwar Gargash, the Minister of State for FNC Affairs, said yesterday he expected about 70,000 Emiratis to go to the polls in September.That would be a ninefold increase on 2006, when 7,757 Emiratis - 6,595 men and 1,162 women - turned out to vote, and more than five times the legal minimum number of eligible electors, 12,000.The UAE has a population of around 5 million, perhaps 20% of whom are nationals.