United Arab Emirates. According to Countryaah official site, the country remained largely untouched by the Arab Spring. In a manifesto addressed to President Khalifa ibn Zayid Al Nayan in April, intellectuals and human rights activists demanded free elections and legislative powers for the country’s parliament. The manifesto, which was signed “your loyal children” received no response, but five of the signatories were arrested and charged with “conspiracy against state security”.
The election for 20 of the 40 seats in the Consultative Parliament on September 25 attracted no major interest. The number of eligible voters had increased from 6,000 in 2006 to 130,000, but they still constituted a minority of the country’s adult citizens and a fraction of the country’s total population comprising 80% of guest workers. Only a quarter of the voters participated. No political parties were allowed; all candidates were independent but in practice loyal to the president.