Campaigning gathers pace for civic council elections

Campaigning for the fifth Central Municipal Council (CMC) elections, scheduled for Wednesday, has gathered momentum with the candidates sprucing up their efforts to woo voters in their respective constituencies. Though  there were 138 candidates in the fray for 28 seats initially, 18 had opted out of the race.

Three seats have been won uncontested. These include constituency number one, retained by the current vice chairman Jassim al-Malki, constituency 27 won by Rabea Hamad Ajlan al-Kaabi and constituency 28 won by Saeed Mubarak al-Rashidi. A total of 120 candidates, five of them women, are  competing for 25 seats. The candidates have been using various methods to attract the attention of their voters, including billboards on the streets and posts on the social media, WhatsApp messages, direct phone calls, visits to  prominent majlises of the area and meetings with groups of people from the constituency.

Some members have distributed brochures and  pamphlets to voters. These often include introduction about the candidate, his or her profile, photo, previous achievements and the manifesto. The billboards carry slogans such as “you have the option, give it the best”, “your vote is a great responsibility, give it to the worthy”, “Together for the best”, “A new generation for new tasks and duties.” Some of the current CMC members,  contesting the elections, have raised slogans such as “Let us complete what we have already started together” and “A time of achievement and more achievements to come”.

Most of the programmes of the CMC candidates are focused on infrastructure projects and public services such as improving roads with better lighting schemes and standard layout of internal streets; establishment of more recreation areas like mini-parks for families and open playgrounds for young people; and maintaining close communication with  voters and making their demands heard by the officials concerned.
The municipal council has no legislative or administrative powers and its role is limited to raising the concerns of  people and their demands regarding different municipal issues, study them and issue recommendations. The current round of the council has been active on following up the recommendations issued with the entities concerned to see how far things have been improved or implemented.
Saud al-Hinzab, the current chairman of the CMC, who opted not to run for another term, has stressed that the council has gained more popularity and interest over the years as people have became more aware of its important role in tackling their daily concerns.
The overall campaigning by CMC candidates is done in a dignified manner with none accusing or criticising the opponents or trying to discredit them. Almost every candidate talks about what he or she would do and could offer rather than what others have failed to do. The election is  open to Qataris only. Published by Gulf Times, Photo Credits: Nasar T K