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Constitutional amendments highlight commitment of UAE leadership to political process: Gargash

posted on 03/02/2009: 673 views

H.E. Dr. Anwar Gargash, Minister of State for Federal National Council Affairs (MSFNCA), said the recent constitutional amendments endorsed by the Supreme Council of the Federation and approved by the Federal National Council (FNC) members highlight the commitment of the UAE leadership to further strengthen the country's political process.

Congratulating the FNC members for approving the amendments during the fifth session of the third ordinary session of the 14th legislative chapter, Dr Gargash described the amendments as "strategic and historic" and said it "will further boost the process of political empowerment launched by the President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan."

Thanking the FNC members, the minister said, "It reflects their keen support to the directions of our leadership in strengthening the federal system in the UAE. This also highlights the vital communication that exists between the political leadership and the people, which will further foster the political process." In key amendments, as per the revised Article 72, the membership term of the FNC will be four years instead of two, with effect from the date of the first session. Article 78 now states that the FNC will hold its annual ordinary sessions from the third week of October each year, a month earlier than before. An extraordinary session of the FNC can be convened, if required, to look into issues raised in the motion.

According to the amended Article 85, the FNC will have a General Secretariat to be chaired by the Secretary General, whose functions will be specified by the bylaws. The FNC will determine the bylaws, which will be become effective following a decision of the Chairman based on the approval of the Supreme Council of the Federation.

Article 91 now states that that the government will report to the FNC the international treaties and agreements signed with other countries and organisations. Such pacts are now subject to discussion by the FNC before being ratified.

The FNC session also endorsed the amendments to the phrase, 'his deputy' as substituted by "his deputies", wherever found in Articles 54, 55, 57 and 67. "One of his deputies" will be 'his deputy' in Article 93 of the Constitution. Articles 59, 62, 64 related to the Cabinet were also amended.

Dr Gargash said that the amendments highlight the commitment of the UAE leadership to enhance the performance of the executive authority. "The amendments to the membership term of the FNC will help the members strengthen their involvement in the political process and parliamentary work. The new authority that has been given to the Council with regard to the agreements signed with other countries and organisations is a reiteration of the leadership's efforts to enhance the participation of the FNC in strategic decisions."

On the general policy of the Ministry of Public Works, Dr Gargash said that Public Works Minister HE Sheikh Hamdan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan was particularly responsive to the queries of FNC members regarding the development of roads and infrastructure. He said that these are vital for the public good, and that Sheikh Hamdan underscored the strong commitment of the Ministry to cooperate with local departments to develop and improve the infrastructure. – Emirates News Agency, WAM


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