Abu Dhabi: A total of 457 hopefuls, including 297 men and 160 women, have filed their candidacy applications for the upcoming FNC elections across the emirates so far, according to the National Election Committee. Candidates’ registration will end on Thursday and the preliminary list of candidates will be announced on August 25, according to the National Election Committee. The committee will receive objections against candidates over the next three days, and will reply to these objections by September 1. The final list of candidates will be announced on September 3, while the names of the candidate representatives should be presented on September 4 according to the terms set out in the executive regulations. The candidates will launch their election campaigns on September 8, with the deadline for candidate withdrawal, if any, set for September 15. More than 337,000 Emiratis are eligible to vote for candidates on October 5. They are also eligible to run for membership. “The UAE is heading towards a new election, reinforcing the steps of instilling a culture of political participation among members of society,” said Abdul Rahman Al Owais, Minister of Health and Prevention, Minister of State for Federal National Council Affairs, and Chairman of the National Election Committee, as he toured candidate registration centres in Ajman, Ras Al Khaimah and Umm Al Quwain. Al Owais added that this is a new addition to the successes achieved by the nation in the field of political development and the improvement of parliamentary work to be more expressive and more relevant to citizens’ issues and needs. “The UAE has been able to build a unique parliamentary model, based on the main pillars, mainly accurate knowledge of the needs and requirements of the Emirati society and the preservation of its gains in all areas,” said Al Owais. He added that the electoral process, which will culminate in a vote to select members of the Federal National Council on October 5, is a representation of the people of the UAE in all segments and categories. “At the same time, it seeks to promote national belonging and work for the common good, which is shared by all UAE citizens who work to achieve them under the guidance of a wise leadership that believes in the capabilities of all the people of the homeland and works to enable them to be able to represent the UAE and defend the interests of the people of the UAE.” Last year, President His Highness Shaikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan approved plans to ensure 50 per cent of FNC representatives were women. In line with this quota decree, Abu Dhabi and Dubai allocated two seats for women out of the four seats designated for each emirate by election, while Ajman, Fujairah and Umm Al Quwain are each designating one seat for a female candidate following the election from two seats designated to each emirate. Sharjah and Ras Al Khaimah have not dedicated any seats for women through the election, but once the elections results are announced, the Rulers can appoint women to ensure the 50 per cent quota is filled.