Majlis A'Shura elections
One of the changes brought about during the Arab Spring was the promotion of some members of the Majlis A'Shura into mainstream government, coupled with the increase in power of the Majlis itself. There are some observers who think that the Majlis will continue to increase in its importance, particularly when it is housed in its new building under construction now near the Al Bustan.
Some newspapers here have published pictures of the candidates, and we have all seen the hoardings appearing next to the main roads (some of which are blocking the view of drivers!) in the capital. The rules of the campaign allow for candidates to use such hoardings, or posters and flyers, personal meetings, TV and radio, websites and SMS, providing the local Wali has granted the necessary permissions.
Muscat Daily ran an article on Sunday which questioned 21 people about the elections. Comments were that candidates should be honest, hard-working, ready to interact with the people, and ethical. Most said that women should be fairly represented (of the 1306 candidates, only 82 are women, to quote Muscat Daily today). Some of those questioned seemed concerned that financial inducements may be offered by candidates to secure votes.
Muscat Mole is concerned that voters do not know what many of the candidates stand for. What will each candidate do if elected? With the Shura Council becoming more important, those who vote should know what principles they are voting for. And those who are elected must be prepared to be determined to face into the challenges, and try to fulfill the opportunities, present in today's society, for the good of all.