Will vote for money
The slogan of ‘Will Vote for my Country’ used by the information ministry to boost people’s awareness of the need to vote is a very beautiful one, but is unfortunately hard to put into practice because of the one-vote electoral system, where most voters vote for candidates from the same tribe, clan, sect or even those known for doing services for constituents. Nowadays, voters usually opt to vote for ‘dinar’ candidates.
Al-Qabas on Oct 25, 2016 published a story with a headline reading “Up to KD 1,300 per vote” in the fourth, third and other constituencies. This story reminded me of a vote-buying incident during the 2003 elections. A voter said that on the eve of the elections, he went to the campaign headquarters of a candidate known to buy votes and asked him how much he paid per vote.
The candidate told him that he will pay KD 1,000 and they agreed on the amount. The candidate asked him to come the following morning to the tent pitched next to the polling center along his citizenship certificate. Meeting him, the candidate asked him to swear by the Holy Quran to vote for him, which he did, and received the KD 1,000.
Next, the voter went to the polling center accompanied by the candidate’s representative to vote for the bribe-paying candidate. On the way, the voter thought of a way to shake off the representative so that he could find another vote-buying candidate and make more money, which he did, and ran to his house to have an afternoon nap. In the evening, the voter went back to the same center looking for another ill-mannered and conscienceless candidate who would buy his vote. Finding one, he asked for KD 1,000 for his vote, but the candidate refused, bargained with him and only gave him KD 750.
The voter swore by the Holy Quran to vote for him, collected the money and started counting it before leaving. He found out that the sum included an extra KD 10 and insisted on returning it because he would “never accept haram money”, which highly appealed to the candidate, who admired his honesty and insisted on giving him the extra amount, praying to Allah to have many more of his likes!
Well, voters swear by the Holy Quran to vote for those paying bribes, who in turn swear by Almighty Allah to be loyal to the nation and HH the Amir, to respect state laws and the constitution and defend the people’s freedom and funds and do their work honestly. What an oath! —Translated by Kuwait Times