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Ramadan overshadows Kuwait elections
July 17, 2013, 2:45 pm
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The competitive atmosphere for the forthcoming parliamentary elections is overshadowed by the holy month of Ramadan when citizens are usually busy with spiritual and social activities. As countdown begins for the next general elections due on July 27, voters are still preoccupied with mutual congratulations on the occasion of the fasting month.
 
However, candidates for the race wasted no time in taking the opportunity of any occasion to attract voters’ attention. Academics specializing in political, social and psychological sciences say that the election atmosphere is still overshadowed by Ramadan. The electoral race is expected to become tense one week ahead of the polls, they believe. Dr Abdullah Al-Ghanem, a professor of political science at Kuwait University, said Ramadan will add a fresh experience to candidates since it is the first election in Kuwait to coincide with the fasting month.
 
It is normal for voters to be busy with spiritual and social activities, including mutual visits for Ramadan, but later they will be more interested in politics he said. Many hopefuls are worried about the impact of the Ramadan atmosphere on the July 27 elections. But, Al-Ghanem criticized the way used by some candidates to attract voters by blasting the current domestic condition in the country.
 
He also attacked them for failing to have attractive and distinguished platforms and programs purposed to improve and develop public services. Dr Mohammad Al-Haddad, a professor of sociology with Kuwait University, said candidates cannot draw the attention of voters in an effective manner due to the holy month. “It is even unacceptable now for candidates to talk about elections while visiting family members or friends to congratulate them on the fasting month,” he said.
 
Citizens in general and eligible voters are preoccupied with religious obligations and social duties on the occasion of the holy month of Ramadan. Such activities negatively have psychological impacts on voters, but Ramadan remains a good opportunity for candidates and voters to meet together. 
Source – KUNA
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