‘Come out, vote in polls’.

‘Candidates need media training to woo voters’

A number of experts in media and politics stressed on Sunday the importance of participating in the voting process for the upcoming parliamentary elections on June sixth. In statements to (KUNA), academics called on Kuwaiti society and youths to participate in the elections in order to help the right qualified candidate to reach parliament and better serve their country.

“The democratic process is going through a stage of push and pull, the National Assembly has a role in protecting freedoms and preventing corruption, and refusal to vote serves those who want this country to be backward and regression,” said the Associate Professor of Public Relations and Media at the Gulf University for Science and Technology (GUST), Dr. Ali Abdel Samad. He called on voters to “participate in voting and choose the best candidate to complete the electoral process in a better way”.

In a similar statement, Professor of Communication and Digital Media at Kuwait University, Dr. Bashayer Al-Sanea, said that participation in the electoral process is “the best option to achieve the desired development and block those with personal interests. The election represent a true chance to express our views and achieve our aspiration for a better future, she added.

“When the views and needs of citizens are properly represented in parliament, balance and sustainable development are achieved and democracy is strengthened”. For his part, Professor of Political Science at Kuwait University, Dr. Abdullah Al-Ghanim considered, “Political participation is a fundamental issue for reforming the situation.” “The ballot paper is the first step in this path; the ballot boxes are the first steps of political reform.” “Voter must control his conscience and choose a qualified candidate away from partisanship, sectarianism or tribe, and he must make a rational choice based on a comparison between candidates based on the interest of the country”, he continues.

Al-Ghanim stressed that “the most important thing in the electoral process is the realization that if the choice is based on personal interest, it will not contribute to development, but will lead to harm to society”. Dr. Muhammad Akbar, the Professor of Media at the American University, on the other hand stated, “the voter should choose the honest, educated candidate with a conscious, and who enjoys the spirit of patriotism and served the country in his field of work”.

He added that the Kuwaiti people must choose according to democratic criteria that call for the development of the country and the development of legislation that serves society and is in the public interest for a better future.” He pointed out the importance of resorting the motivating participation in the elections, overcoming negative criticism, and broadcasting positive messages calling for optimism. Earlier this month, the Kuwaiti Cabinet approved a draft decree calling for National Assembly (parliament) elections to take place on Tuesday, June 6, 2023).

Meanwhile, media figures and academics affirmed on Sunday National Assembly candidates should be trained in media to infl uence voters with their ideas. In a statement to KUNA, multiple media academics said that certain media skills acquired through training courses helps candidates to attract public attention and the acceptance of voters. Professor of Media at Kuwait University Dr. Khaled Al- Qahs said that each candidate needs a media personality to convince voters with their ideas, as well as intellectual and cultural characteristics especially in the legislative and constitutional aspects and public affairs issues. Al-Qahs added that candidates must acquire the ability to deal with various media platforms, appear in media conferences and interviews and speak about public issues. Journalist Dr. Bassam Al-Jazzaf said that candidates’ most important characteristic is to maintain a positive and honest image in the voters head, and the ability to dialogue, negotiate, persuade, respond to arguments and confront the media and the public, which is achieved by intensive training sessions.

For his part, Media figure Eid Al-Rashidi stressed the importance of media characteristics for the candidate is to have the ability to influence others and persuade and evoke their feelings as well as have confidence in what he says. He also added on the need to develop training programs for candidates that are exposed to pressure and contribute to their media success and confidence in what they present and discuss. Al-Rashidi stated that the best advice to give any candidate was to provide good content for the issues raised, choosing a good media platform to convey ideas and having alternative plans to deal with any issue in addition to clarifying the electoral message.

Source- Arab Times.

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