KUWAIT CITY, Nov 8, (KUNA): Political debates between candidates contesting elections in democratic nations have been a reliable outlet to familiarize the electorate with ideologies of the candidates, while boosting awareness of the electoral process. In separate statements given to KUNA, a number of media specialists employed by state television underscored the significance of debates in revealing a candidate’s line of thought, as well as how effective debates can be in Kuwait’s electoral system. Al-Rai television host Mohammad Al-Sadani noted that political debate is a platform to exchange one’s views and thoughts, however, he added that such methods “can only pay dividends in pragmatic societies.”
Moreover, he said that the Kuwaiti electorate believes that debates “are an ineffective tool here because they would most likely center on sectarian and tribal lines, instead of a candidate’s goals and plans. Al-Sadani even went as far as to liken the prospect of a political debate in Kuwait to a “soccer game”, given how futile he believes it would be. Meanwhile, Al-Sabah TV host Salama Essa said that he is a proponent of holding debates in the country because it would showcase candidates’ true colors, noting that debates between US presidential hopefuls Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton revealed their most complex thoughts.
Al-Kout TV host Hamad Al- Nabhan said that political debates epitomize democratic activity, however, he noted that before they could take place in Kuwait, the electorate should be acquainted with how effective they can be in bringing a candidate’s ideology to the limelight. He also added that these debates should have no place for religious or cultural ardor, instead they should focus on candidates’ campaigns in order for genuine democracy to be practiced.
Kuwait TV host Eid Al-Rashidi said that political debates in Kuwait are “long overdue given the fact that Kuwait has been a bastion of democracy since the 1960s.” He described debates as a useful tool that could be instrumental to help voters decide on who to vote for.” He also highlighted the fact that these debates should not be an open forum for scathing tirades but an opportunity for voters to decide who is most fitting to represent them. furthermore, fifty one candidates had succeeded in representing the second constituency in the past 12 parliamentary sessions since 1981 till parliament of 2013. Among the most runners for the 2nd constituency which grouped the 7th, 9th, 10th, 11th and 14th in the 25 constituency formation were Ahmad AL-Saadoun who represented the constituency for nine legislative terms besides his membership in the invalidated parliament of 2012.
He was followed by Dr Naser Al- Sanea, Waleed Al-Tabtabaei, winner in the invalidated parliament of February 2012, both represented the constituency for five legislative terms, whereas Saleh Al-Fadhala who represented the constutuency for five legislative terms. Adel Al-Sarawi and Faisal Al- Mislem, winner in the invalidated February 2012 parliament, Ali Saleh Al-Omair, winner in the invalidated February and December 2102 parliaments and membership in the 2013 parliament, represented the constituency for four legislative terms. Hmoud Al-Jabri, Jasem Menahi Al-Osaimi, Jaser Al-Rajhi, Mohammad Al-Marshad, Sami Al-Munayes, Waleed Al-Osaimi, Faisal Al-Shaya, Rowdhan Al-Rowdhan and Jamal Al-Omar represented the constituency for three legislative terms. Ahmad Al-Khateeb, Ahmad Al- Kulaib, Ali Al-Saeed and Saleh Al- Mulla represented the constituency for two legislative terms.
The constituency was represented for one legislative term by Ahmad Al-Mulaifi, member in the invalidated parliament of December 2012, Mohammad Al-Adsani, Esa Al- Shaheen, Yousef Al-Ghanim and Naser Sanhat Al-Osaimi, Abdulrazaq Al-Sanea, Naser Al-Bannai, Abdulaziz Al-Adsani, Abdusallam Al-Osaimi, Bader Al-Jeean, Ahmad Al-Duaij, Ahmad Al-Rubei, Bader Al-Farsi, Basel Al-Rashed, Abdulaziz Al-Shayji, Naji Al-Abdulhadi, Aseel Al-Awadhi, Rola Dashti, Khalil Abdullah, member in the invalidated December 2012 parliament, Safa Al-Hashem, member in invalidated December 2012 parliament and member in the 2013 parliament from which she resigned, Mohammad Al-Jabri, member in the invalidated December 2012 parliament, Yaqoub Al-Sanea, member in the invalidated parliament if December 2012, Abdulkareem Al-Kanderi, who resigned from parliament of 2013, Nabil Al-Fadhl, member in the invalidated parliaments of February and December 2012 and membership in the 2013 parliament, Ali Al- Khamees, Abdullah Maayouf and Fares Al-Otaibi.
Mohammad Al-Adsani had won for four times the post of Speaker of the National Assembly in 1981 whereas Ahmad Al-Saadoun became Speaker in 1985, 1992, 1996 and the invalidated parliament of 2012. The constituency saw since 1981 six out of 31 elected ministers. In the government line-up in 1992, Jasem Al-Oun became minister of Socvial Affairs and Labor and in 1994 he became Minister of Communications and Minister of Electricity and Water whereas the Social Affairs and Labor ministry was given to Ahmad Al-Kulaib.