Early voting for the Federal National Council (FNC) 2019 elections in the UAE continues for the second consecutive day after the liquidation of candidates and the imposition of the regime’s vision on the elections, which are the strangest elections in the world.
Early voting takes place across nine nationwide polling stations and lasts three days, while voting begins on the main election day on October 5.
Candidates in all countries with little or no freedom of speech have traditionally exploited their governments’ mistakes to be part of their electoral platforms to win public support, and to fulfill their promises to reform them after winning.
In the UAE, however, the programs of candidates competing for FNC seats are focused on defending the environment, bullying issues, tourism reality, economic development and increasing “luxury”.
At the same time, violations of the UAE regime are absent, both internally and externally, a policy that has become one of the issues the international community is talking about, and an exciting topic for the international media, but which does not exist in the programs of candidates for the UAE Federal National Council.
This is not only a policy that is devoid of candidate programs, but also a significant decline in the country’s economy, especially in the emirates of Abu Dhabi and Dubai.
Failure to adopt or include candidates in their electoral programs is the country’s international criticism; because of its tarnished foreign policy, and the deteriorating economic situation, does not mean their approval of the policy of the government of the country.
Two candidates announced their withdrawal from the election because of their election program, which seemed to “dislike the UAE system of government”; this explains the secret behind the candidates’ failure to embrace real issues.
The International Federation for Rights and Development (IFRD), said that the UAE’s National Election Commission has called for an investigation into candidates coming under pressure on their election platforms.
The International Federation, based in Rome, expressed deep concern about the payment of a number of candidates for the elections of the National Council in the UAE to withdraw; because of what they declared pressure from the state.
The International Federation highlighted that such interventions from the state “violate the principles of democracy and free competition, and as a restriction to reach a national council representing power and not the will of the Emiratis.”
The organization pointed to the Authority’s interference in determining the number of lists of electoral bodies and limited to only 337 thousand and 738 members of the population of the state (about 9.5 million people), as well as pressure on candidates to withdraw from the race.
The organization considered that “the withdrawal of candidates to complain of pressure exerted by the authority on them increases the already existing doubts about the transparency of the elections of the National Council in the UAE, and the level of candidacy and free election there.”
The organization said that the UAE elections “take place in an undemocratic political environment, and will not lead to free elections, especially in light of government restrictions and ignore the need to reform laws that ensure full participation in the right to run and vote, as well as the need to release opinion activists and dissidents in the state.”
FIDH called on the UAE authorities to fulfill their obligations under international laws and conventions, which call for safeguarding the right to peaceful transfer of power and guaranteeing freedom of opinion and expression, including ending the ban on dissidents and independent media.