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Diwaniyas, not social media, integral to election campaigns
November 23, 2016, 10:12 am

Despite major technological advancements, particularly, the meteoric growth of social media, the "Diwaniya" has remained an integral component of candidates' election campaigns, providing these parliamentary hopefuls a chance to mingle with the electorate. With three days remaining till Kuwaitis head to the polls, "Diwaniyas" have hosted a series of heated discussions between voters and candidates, where they exchange their vantage points on a myriad of regional and international issues.

In separate interviews with KUNA on Wednesday, a number of voters pointed out that the growth of social media has induced a major transformation of the electoral process in the country, where the seamless flow of information has been facilitated through these websites.

Moreover, they added that despite an increasingly technologically advanced world, the "Diwaniya" has always been a reliable method for candidates to get their messages across to voters.

Speaking to KUNA, Abdulrahman Al-Kandari, one of many voters who will cast their votes on November 26, described the Diwaniya as a distinctive feature of Kuwait and the Gulf region.

On the Diwaniyas, he said that people from all walks of life gather there to share their viewpoints on issues of mutual concern, adding that candidates actually make it a point to visit these Diwaniyas in an effort to woo voters who may be on the fence about who to vote for. He also noted that Diwaniyas are also frequented by foreign diplomats looking to get acquainted with local culture.

Meanwhile, another voter, Mohammad Al-Daihani told KUNA that Diwaniyas are instrumental in boosting electoral knowledge, describing them as major social institutions.

On the rise of social media, he said it is a "double-edged sword", noting that unfounded rumors can spread on these websites, subsequently diminishing a candidate's chances of success.

Source: KUNA

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