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Kuwait: “Electoral satellite channels for rent…”

Mideast Wire

On April 28, the independent Al-Khaleej daily carried the following report by Hussein al-Bajalati: “Satellite channels were put up for rent before the candidates running in the Kuwaiti parliamentary elections, in light of official reassurances stating that the Kuwaiti government has abstained from engaging in the political conflict arena by preventing “electoral satellite channels”... An official source stressed for his part the issuance of instructions demanding that the law be imposed on everyone without any exceptions. He indicated that the government was subjected to numerous attacks due to its stringency in fighting by-elections and the purchasing of votes.

“He assured that the Information Ministry was instructed to follow these satellite channels closely, and adopt immediate legal measures against all those who violate the broadcasting conditions and laws. He said: “The decision preventing phone messages was issued for the same reason”, and added: “I informed the channels and the phone companies about this decision and we hope they will act responsibly”. On the other hand, Al-Khaleej has learned that seven satellite channels’ licenses were put up for rent or sale before the electoral battle. They indicated that the leasing was made either by leasing the license for a month in exchange for 70,000 dinars (i.e. $250,000) or leasing the license along with the accompanying content for one million dinars (around $3.5 million).

“The sources added that most of the top candidates of the political movements owned electoral channels such as Nabehah Tahalof that promotes the eight candidates of the Democratic Alliance, while Al-Anwar channel promotes the list of former MP Salah Ashour in the first constituency. As for the remaining channels, they are offering their services to all the candidates to broadcast news about their electoral meetings. Some movements that own newspapers, have distributed free copies that reach the homes of the residents of the constituency on a regular basis, such as Al-Jarida newspaper and An-Nahar...

“On the other hand, some Salafi MPs are buying 30,000 copies of Al-Ru’ya newspaper on a daily basis, and are distributing them for free in the second constituency where there is a concentration of Salafi candidates such as the secretary general of the Salafi Group, Khalid Sultan Bin Issa.” - Al-Khaleej, United Arab Emirates

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