Citizens turn out in large numbers on final day of polling.
A show of confidence from women marked the final day of Federal National Council elections in Sharjah, which went off smoothly except for a minor glitch, on Saturday.
Citizens turned out in large numbers, irrespective of gender and age at the five voting centres Chess Club, Al Khan, Mugaidir Area, Al Dhaid and Malaiha, as the polling entered its final hours.
The polling station in Mugaidir experienced lighter moments when an elderly voter turned up to cast his vote for a second time.
The supervising committee told him that an individual can vote only once and he had already used his franchise during the early voting period.
The voting process was delayed at Al Khan booth for 20 minutes due to a technical fault.
Issa saif Al Muhairi, a voter, told Khaleej Times that he had to wait for more than 20 minutes until the fault was fixed.
Mohammed Al Mugfali, Head of Voting in Al Dhaid, said that the voting process was smooth and number of voters of both genders increased after 3pm.
Ahmed Al Zarooni, Director of Voting in Chess Club said that the turnout in the morning was weak, but picked up its pace later.
He added that there were 50 volunteers for the smooth running of polls and there were no breaches expect for some people whose name were not registered entered the polling station and tried to vote.
Speaking to Khaleej Times, women candidates said that they are not worried about the outcome of the election.
They added, even if they fail in this election, they will be happy, as they consider the experience itself as a great success for them and the country as a whole.
Aisha Jumma, a candidate said: “I will keep appearing as a candidate in elections until I win and be member of the FNC to convey the voices of the my people”
She added that she has made great efforts to win the election, but at the same time, she would never get disappointed if she gets negative result.
Mariam Al Nuaimi, another candidate, said: “Optimistic..Optimistic…Optimistic… In all respects it’s a great success, nothing to worry about if don’t have luck this time, will he have next time.
“It’s important for me to see numbers of women in the FNC. I except voters to vote for me, not only people of Sharjah but from various emirates.” While hailing the election process as well-organised, candidate Aisha Salim said: “The only issue we face here is that they barred us from seeing voters, at least they should be allowed to see our faces before they vote for us.”
She added that the elections are fair and wish all elected women get opportunities in the FNC.
Despite the development of Emirati women has made with the support of country’s leadership, there are issues that needed to be highlighted for the benefit of women and their interests.
“I voted for myself because I have great confidence that I’m capable for this position, which would serve my people in general and women in particular.”
Hayat Yousif Mohammed Saeed, a candidate from Dubai, visited the Sharjah voting booth in Chess Club to ensure her votes from Sharjah.
“I have people voting for me in all emirates. Since morning I have been visiting polling booths to ensure people who will vote for me are served better to practise their right. I’m very optimistic for success but if not is fine will try next time.”
Before casting her vote, Sara Salih Al Kabbi, 20-year-old student of University of Sharjah, told Khaleej Times that she said she would give her vote for a woman whom she think has logical election programme.
The government officials in the emirate cast their votes as ordinary citizen as no special arrangements have been made for them.
Among them was Abdul Rahman bin Mohammed Al Owais, Minister of Health, who told Khaleej Times that he came to the booth just as a citizen to give his vote for the one who he thinks could handle the FNC responsibility.
The minister hailed the election process as celebration of democracy and said the FNC members are strategic partners in the decision making process for the interest of the people.
Jamilah Al Fandi, Director General of Shaik Zayed Housing Department said that she came to use her democratic right as a citizen and voted for a well-qualified person who understands the needs of people.
Brigadier Saif Al Zari, Sharjah Police Chief said “voting is national duty for every citizen” and he was not there to inspect the poll. He added that he gave his vote based on the candidate’s election agenda and not based on family or tribal relation.
Khaleej Times also met 80-year-old Mohammed Salim Al Hamoodi, who said he voted for a young man who will provide better future for the coming generation especially in term of education, health and family. The octogenarian said that he requested his son to help him to reach the poll for voting.
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