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Some candidates for parliament incurring heavy financial burden
November 21, 2016, 9:39 am

Running for parliament nowadays puts a heavy financial burden on whomever is considering the seat due to what it takes to hire the best 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 may be resorting to some drastic measures 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 (US$ 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 a "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 November 26. As per law 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. 

Source: KUNA

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