With the election of Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan as President of the UAE to succeed his late brother Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the following question arises: How is the president of the state elected?
The UAE constitution, which was founded in 1971 by the late founding leader Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, states in its 51st article that “The Supreme Council of the Federation elects from among its members the President of the Federation and the Vice-President of the Federation, and the Vice-President exercises all the powers of the President in his absence for any reason.” .
While Article 53 answers the question posed by stating that “when the position of the president or his deputy becomes vacant by death or resignation or the end of the rule of either of them in his emirate for any reason, the Supreme Council shall be called within a month from that date to meet to elect his successor to fill the vacant position for the period stipulated in Article 52 of this constitution.
What happens if the positions of the President and Vice President become vacant?
Article 53 also answered as follows: “When the positions of the President and Vice-President of the Supreme Council together become vacant, the Council shall meet immediately at the invitation of any of its members, or the Prime Minister of the Union, to elect a new President and Vice-President to fill the two vacant positions.”
According to Article 46 of the constitution, the Federal Supreme Council is the supreme authority in the state. The Council is composed of the rulers of the seven emirates, which are Abu Dhabi (the capital), Dubai, Sharjah, Ajman, Umm al-Quwain, Ras al-Khaimah and Fujairah.
It is noteworthy that the Federal Supreme Council is the highest constitutional authority in the Emirates, and it is the highest legislative and executive body, which draws up public policies and approves federal legislation.
The Supreme Council of Rulers is formed from the rulers of the seven emirates that make up the federation or those who take their place in their emirates in the event of their absence or unavailability, and each of them has one vote in the decisions of the Council.
The Council shall:
– Drawing up general policy in all matters entrusted to the union under this constitution and looking into everything that would achieve the goals of the union and the common interests of the member emirates.
Ratification of the various federal laws before their issuance, including the laws of the annual general budget of the Federation and the final account.
Ratification of decrees related to matters that are subject under the provisions of this Constitution to ratification or approval of the Federal Supreme Council, prior to the issuance of these decrees by the President of the Federation.
Ratification of treaties and conventions is done by decree.
– Approving the appointment of the Prime Minister of the Union, accepting his resignation and relieving him of his post based on the proposal of the President of the Union.
– Approval of the appointment of the president and judges of the Federal Supreme Court, acceptance of their resignations and their dismissal in the cases stipulated in the Constitution, and all of this is done by decrees.
– Supreme control over the affairs of the Federation in general.
The Supreme Council sets its bylaws, including its workflow system, the method of voting on its decisions, and the Council’s deliberations are confidential. It establishes a general secretariat for it to be provided with a sufficient number of employees to assist it in the performance of its work.
The decisions of the Supreme Council on substantive issues are issued by a majority of five of its members, provided that this majority includes the votes of the Emirates of Abu Dhabi and Dubai, and the minority adheres to the opinion of the said majority.
As for the decisions of the Council on procedural issues, they are issued by a majority vote, and the internal regulations of the Council determine these issues.
The Supreme Council shall hold its meetings in the capital of the Union and may convene at any other place agreed upon in advance.
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