Di­waniya re­mains in­te­gral com­po­nent of cam­paigns

Kuwait Times - - LOCAL -

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 yes­ter­day, 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.

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 said 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 “dou­bleedged sword,” not­ing that un­founded ru­mors can spread on these web­sites, sub­se­quently di­min­ish­ing a can­di­date’s chances of suc­cess. —KUNA

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