UAE holds its second election for advisory body

By REUTERS
September 24, 2011 11:22

 
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DUBAI - Polls opened on Saturday for the second election in the United Arab Emirates, where a fraction of the population will vote for an advisory council, as the Gulf Arab state tries to forge closer links between the rulers and the people.

Half of the seats in the 40-seat Federal National Council (FNC) are being contested by 468 candidates seeking the votes of the 129,000-strong eligible electorate -- just 12 percent of Emirati nationals in the world's No. 3 oil exporter.

"I voted for people that I know, for those who advocate for the rights of the citizens," said Ahmed al-Janahi, 54, a marine biologist at the Ministry of Environment.

The vote is an attempt by the rulers of the seven emirates to gradually introduce representation. The 20 other members of the council are directly appointed and the body only has advisory powers.

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