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Kuwait observes electoral silence on Wednesday

KUWAIT: Electoral silence will be observed from noon on Wednesday until the end of balloting on Thursday, in line with Article 22 of the election law of April 2024. According to this law, all nominees’ campaigns must stop 24 hours before the polling; thus, all advertisements, interviews, promotions, reports, or opinion polling must stop.

The media’s role during this period is restricted to encouraging citizens to vote, providing them with information about the ballot centers and the constituencies, and making distinctions between the information and electoral bulletins. Jassem Kamal, secretary of the Kuwait Journalists Association, said in a statement to KUNA that the electoral silence is perfectly sound and is observed in many countries around the world. It had been tested in Kuwait several times and proved useful for attaining justice for the nominees.

Kamal has indicated that the media is a key tool for the nominees, forming public opinion, transferring the facts to the voters, and promoting the candidates’ programs. The electoral silence stems from the media’s influence and provides the electorate with the freedom to choose their favorites. The Kuwait Journalists Association, he has added, has been holding contacts with the local press and ordinary citizens to encourage casting the ballot “and choose a new future for Kuwait through a new assembly.”

Meanwhile, Dr. Mohammad Al-Tamimi, a law professor at Kuwait University, said in remarks to KUNA that according to the law 61/2007 on the audio-visual media and the law 3/2006 about publications and publishing, the relevant minister, usually the minister of information, is entitled to prohibit the media broadcasts according to the rules set in the relevant executive laws. Faisal Al-Sewagh, the head of the Kuwait Electronic Media Union, said that electoral silence is observed in countries with democratic histories, indicating the need for it to create adequate atmospheres for the voters and ensure that the media abstain from affecting public opinion.

The electoral silence is aimed at enabling the voters to practice their franchise freely and attaining justice in the nominees’ competition. He called on the media to use the silence period to educate the voters and stimulate citizens to go to the ballot stations to partake in the 2024 polls. He alluded to the latest speech by His Highness the Amir Sheikh Mishal Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, urging the citizens to practice their franchise and contribute to a better future for the country. — KUNA

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