Tuesday, October 04, 2011
5

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.


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le fin.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

You are NEVER going to get away from the wastafarian culture of Oman. It is endemic.

Whoever gets into the MAS will eventually give in to pressure from family and friends for favours and wasta-based jobs.

We see it on a daily basis where I am - managers who haven't got a notion about what they are supposed to be doing are wasta'ed into positions by others.

No capability, no idea of the job, and basically no right to be there.

That is the part that gets to me the most. Omanis denying other Omanis the right to get a job that they worked hard for.

The Linoleum Surfer wrapped it all up beautifully last week.
It sucks!

Angry In Oman said...

Finger Gun!!!

The Linoleum Surfer said...

The Shura doesn't suck...I wrote about how important it is. The Mole is right to ask "how to know what these people stand for". But the more pressing question for me is "why is nobody interested in asking them?"

People still seem to think the Shura is a useless talking shop. But now it has legislative powers on the way and will provide a few ministers, it's hugely important. Yo, Omanis, get out and talk to your candidates! Write about what they say! Choose carefull and hold them to account! A lot of people are struggling to get what you have right now, so use it!

Lover Lover said...

Lino- earlier in the week Mohana, editor of Muscat Daily, tweeted that they had tried to contact candidates and ask them their stance but not a single one had a clear agenda and many didn't even answer.
As much as we are all behind the premise of the elections, the reality is that vitamin W still rules the roost BUT times, they are a changing and it is time to play slowly, slowly catchy monkey. Two generations, maybe a couple more, down the line and we will start to see true democracy starting to shine thruogh for it is only then that the old school will be dead and the Arab springsters will start to permeate the new wave of change.
So long as the Arab spring does not dissolve into the winter of their discontent.
Angry- Finger Gun is my counsellor!

The Linoleum Surfer said...

LL, That's kind of the point: people need to know if the person they're going to vote for has anything to say! There are over thirty candidates on some ballots - finding out the one or two with a serious agenda is worthwhile and important! So, at least, is eliminating one on the grounds of being a moron.

This council has legislative powers now. Sure, they've yet to be defined, but whatever they are it's going to mean something and affect everyone. So instead of moaning about what's not happening, maybe people should spend their energies on making sure they know who's worth voting for...

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