KUWAIT CITY, Nov 21, (KUNA): Running for Parliament nowadays puts a heavy financial burden on whomever is considering the seat due to what it takes in providing the finest in logistics and staff. A significant budget must be earmarked in order to cover even the basic of expenses, not to mention financing media coverage (local dailies, TV channels, social media outlets and street ads).
Yet, with all at stake — financially — some candidates might resort to some drastic measures in an attempt to secure finances for their campaigns, such as in taking loans from banks, as well as asking their tribes and supporters for donations and contributions, a matter that would jeopardize the financial and social stability of those candidates, for years to come.
So, while some candidates just settle for paying the KD 50 candidacy registration fee and do not even bother standing at the podium to take some questions from the press about their agenda; because most likely they do not have one, others however, might earmark an overall budget that cannot go less than KD 300,000 ($ one million).
On this subject, Mohammad Al-Shulaimi told KUNA that the staggering prices for Parliament campaigns fail to achieve the principle of justice among candidates. Advertisement companies, either conventional ones or online, are taking advantage of the “season”, he added, calling on candidates to adopt more “realistic” agendas that would attract voters.
On his part, Salah Al-Jassar said such “rocketing” price tag for parliament campaigns would make a hopeful think twice before running. He commended as a “constructive step” Kuwait Municipality’s decision to allocate only two headquarters for each candidate in order to regulate the electoral process.
Meanwhile, Najib Al-Mutairi expressed regret over the high prices’ phenomenon. He stressed that reaching out to the public directly “is the best means” for a candidate so as to truly interact with voters’ concerns and aspirations. Nevertheless, Al-Mutairi said that an upside for a Parliament campaign is reinvigorating a number of economic and commercial sectors in the country.
Elections are due on Nov 26. As per Law No. 20/2012, the first 10 candidates with most votes in each constituency win seats in the National Assembly. Voters can only vote for one candidate per the constituency they are registered in.
Meanwhile, Kuwaiti Interior Ministry warned citizens of putting illegal posters, logos or pictures on their cars as part of traffic preparations ahead of the parliamentary elections slated for Nov 26. Assistant Undersecretary of the Ministry of Interior for Traffic Affairs and acting Director General of the General Directorate of Traffic Maj Gen Fahad Al-Shuwaya told Kuwait News Agency (KUNA) that the traffic sector works to ensure the safety of road users, reduce traffic accidents and apply the law to everyone.
He called on all citizens to follow the instructions of traffic police and not violate the traffic rules and block traffic by parking in prohibited places in order to avoid being held legally accountable. He said the General Directorate of Traffic would activate Article 207 of the Traffic Act, which states that any vehichle carrying any sort of posters, flags, pictures or logos of any sect, group or unlicensed organizations would be seized with the exception of Kuwait’s symbols and the state’s flag.
He explained that the traffic sector would be working around the clock to monitor the traffic on the external and internal roads with full coordination between all the sectors concerned to work to streamline flow of traffic and achieve the desired goals. For his part, Director General of the Public Relations and Moral Guidance Department in the Ministry of Interior Col Adel Ahmad Al-Hashash said that the ministry’s field, operational and preventive bodies have taken all preparations to secure the 2016 National Assembly elections.
He added that there is full coordination between all concerned bodies to make sure the elections go smoothly and at easily. As soon as the National Assembly (parliament) was dissolved by an Amiri Decree earlier in October, the Ministry of Information turned into a hive of activity, setting all its sectors and capacities in full swing to work around the clock, preparing for covering the new elections set for Nov 26. Just days ahead of the elections, the ministry is proceeding with the final touches at the communication center and Studio 800, in addition to the media center at the Sheraton Hotel, to provide a live minute-tominute coverage of the elections day. Media at home and overseas will benefit a lot.
The communication center, Studio 800 and the media center have been provided with state of the art technology to help guests and media figures coming from different world countries to cover the event. This will, no doubt, help offer a full image of the whole process since the voting starts in the early morning, till the polling stations are closed, then the sorting out of votes and the announcement of initial, and later, the final results in the countrys five constituencies.