ABU DHABI, Commenting on the upcoming Federal National Council, FNC, elections, a UAE newspaper today said that increase in the number of eligible voters and allocation of half of the council's seats for women, "reflect those key values that were fundamental then to the founders, and remain all the more so now".

Thirteen years ago, when the first elections to the FNC were held, barely 7,000 were eligible to elect their representatives, the paper noted, and added, "Now, come the elections set for this autumn, a shade over 330,000 will be entitled to cast ballots. That's more than twice the number who could vote the late time the FNC elections took place, in October 2015. And half of the 40 seats in the legislative and consultative chamber will be filled by women, reflecting those key values that were fundamental then to the founders, and remain all the more so now. The clear message here is that this is an evolving process, one that must strike a balance between aspirations, progress and traditions."

"We live in a nation that has changed utterly over the years," Gulf News wrote in its editorial.

"The homeland is progressive, adaptable, and always aware of the principles that laid the foundation stones for its impressive growth," the paper added.

"Electing a new FNC is a national duty for voters, charting a course that shapes and guides this nation for the next four years, assisting the government, shaping and proposing areas of legislation, raising and addressing areas of concerns, just as the traditional majlis did in the time of our forefathers," read the editorial.

The onerous responsibility of organising the FNC elections falls on the shoulders of the National Elections Committee, the paper said, noting "now hard at work laying the groundwork for the candidates' nomination and selection process, ensuring that the campaign is above board, that it represents a true debate on our nation, not the whim of populists."

"The plan is detailed, careful to ensure inclusion, acceptance, overseas voting and early balloting, allowing three days of full voting, counting, and appeals process too before the final membership of the new FNC is ensured by the October 13 deadline," the paper concluded.

Source: Emirates News Agency