An influential character who leads a specialized team
KUWAIT: A political candidate’s wife is the major supporter and advocate of her husband. Being the closest person to a nominee, a wife is most valuable in an election campaign. Wives of the candidates standing for the upcoming National Assembly (parliament) elections due in less than a week’s time are no exception; many of them are throwing their weight behind their spouses, each hoping for a parliament seat for her husband.
Several wives have been taking care of husbands’ election campaigns, a hard task, a challenge, that requires an influential character, to select and lead a specialized team. Most of them mainly depend on social relations, which have proved so effective to attract fellow women. Also, a wife is expected to make visits and hold meet with people to explain the ideas a candidate is adopting for his campaign to lure supporters.
It goes like this ‘behind every successful man, there is a woman,’ thus believes Mariam Al-Mullah, whose husband Salman Al-Attar is running for elections in the First Constituency. A wife is the major supporter of her husband, and has to back him morally, and psychologically, to achieve the aspired goal, she said in an interview.
According to Mullah, a candidate’s wife has to be socially intelligent which helps her form a wide and a strong circle of relations with voters from different classes. She learns about their demands and aspirations, and conveys them to the potential MP.
Mullah communicates directly with female voters, no embarrassment or affectation. She has already visited women gatherings and listened to their ‘legitimate’ and demands from the 2016 parliament. These are topped with rights of widows and people with special needs, as well as those of Kuwaiti women married to foreigners.
Mullah has helped husband draw up the major points on his election manifesto, as she is closer to people’s expectations and concerns. In addition, she encourages her five kids to join the father’s campaign, under her supervision.
Hand in hand
Manaber Al-Gharib, wife of Fifth Constituency candidate Hussein Al-Hadba Al-Rasheedi, is working hand in hand with her husband, and together they take care of the minute details of his campaign, which focuses mainly on issues of education, health, women and youth, she told KUNA.
Rasheedi and Gharib are both academics at the Public Authority for Applied Education and Training (PAAET). This has been vital for the harmony in vision and common planning for standing for the parliamentary elections and organizing the campaign, she said.
Part of Gharib’s support to her husband is that she is keen on providing a calm cosy home, where he finds comfort after long days of hard work; election rallies, TV and radio interviews and replying journalists’ questions.
‘I never forget my role as a wife and a mother, namely morally backing the members of my family and creating emotional balance at home,’ she said, noting that her eldest son is charge of the father’s campaign, managing it through social networking. Kids have a significant role to play in the race to the parliament, the PAAET academic stressed.
Sheikha Al-Mutairi, wife of Omar Al-Tabtabei, a candidate for the second constituency, said that as soon as he decided to join the race, she offered him full support. Tabtabei’s decision to stand for the 2016 National Assembly elections, slated for November 26, followed a long period of national work with various social categories and of different ages, focusing on activities and initiatives on reform and development, Mutairi said. ‘As I am well aware of his keenness to address issues and problems related to the Kuwaiti society, I was the first to back him,’ she added.
Mutairi lavishes unrelenting efforts to communicate with the constituency electorate, and listens to their views, demands and hopes, then transferring the to the candidate. She is very pleased with the role she plays, saying that the voter’s aspirations vary, related to social, economic and trade issues.
Female electorate look beyond social rights, and ask for amending laws on free business and entrepreneurship to encourage the Kuwaiti women play a more effective role for the good of the society. – KUNA