Omanis in UAE allowed to vote in
Shura council polls
Abu Dhabi |By Barbara
Bibbo', Staff Reporter | 28-09-2003
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in the UAE will be allowed to vote for Shura council members
back home in the first-ever overseas suffrage in Oman's
Omani citizens above the age of 21 will be
able to cast their votes here on September 30, four days ahead
of the elections in Oman.
The Omani embassy in Abu
Dhabi will remain open on Tuesday from 7am to 7pm. On the same
day, another polling station will be set up in Dubai at the
Commercial Office of Oman, from 7am to 7pm.
Farsi, Omani Counsellor to the UAE, said Omanis who wish to
vote must produce a valid ID. "It is difficult to forecast how
many Omanis in the UAE will come to vote," he said. "As GCC
citizens they are allowed to move freely within the GCC states
and we do not keep a register of those residing in the
Nevertheless, Al Farsi said many Omani
businessmen or visitors travelling to the UAE could decide to
vote here. About 9,000 Omani students are studying in the UAE
and they could also be among the voters.
for the Majlis Al Shura marks the path of Oman's political
reforms. According to a decree issued last November by His
Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said, all citizens over 21 will be
allowed to vote.
Previously, only one quarter of Oman's
1.8 million citizens were eligible to vote and were chosen by
the Government from tribal leaders, academics and business
The 83-seat Majlis Al Shura is the lower house
of Parliament, while the 48-seat Majlis Al Dawla is the upper
house. The Parliament has the task of advising the government
on economic and domestic issues.
The elections of 2000
marked a historical moment when two women were elected for the
first time to the Majlis Al Shura.