MORE than 80 per cent of parliamentary candidates do not have a proper strategy, according to an expert. Bahraini political consultant Dr Ahmed Al Khuzaie said his finding was based on a study of parliament’s past three terms since 2002, as well as the current crop of election hopefuls running in this month’s polls. He said his research found that the 10pc to 15pc of current candidates, who did have a strategy, struggled with poor planning. “Most of them, even those who say that they are ready with their strategies, have no proper plan based on a study – nor do they have a vision,”
he said. “Almost all plans and proposals lack a deadline concept, which is vital. “We hear candidates speaking about their priority being ‘fixing the national economy’, but what about the economy? “Do they have an action procedure as to how they plan to go about this vision?” Dr Al Khuzaie is managing partner of the US-based Khuzaie Associates, which has worked with bodies such as the US Congress and Senate and the European, German, Indian and Australian parliaments.
It was also involved in the 2012 campaign of US President Barack Obama, during which it worked to raise awareness of his manifesto among minority groups and persuade them to support his bid for re-election. Dr Al Khuzaie is now analysing and monitoring next month’s election in Bahrain on November 22. The expert said Bahraini MPs, who had previously been elected to parliament, had fallen into the trap of blaming the government “for almost anything and everything”, instead of seeking to
make positive changes that would benefit voters. “They, as representatives, must be able to explain regulations and find a way to go about these regulations to achieve their goals,” he said. “Even the present candidates, according to our analysis, have no realistic strategies or plans. “Only 10pc to 15pc of the candidates seem to have a strategy in place, that too not well-planned. “When they announce their manifesto, which includes their initiatives and
aspirations, they are failing in their implementation methods.” Dr Al Khuzaie claimed that even organised political societies that have regularly fielded election candidates did not have properly prepared manifestos. “Manifestos are not something that should be announced in a week’s time,” he said. “It is a long process that should come out of a detailed study, backed by facts and must contain achievable goals. “A proposal that you put forward to the government should be complete and the result of research and analysis, with views and options for the state to act.
“Mostly in Bahrain, the proposals are mere suggestions. “How do you expect the government to consider any plans with no tangible data or any realistic solution suggested for any problems?” Responsibility He said it was the responsibility of political societies to train their candidates on how to formulate strategies to achieve the best results, but added the government should do more to equip independent candidates with the skills they need to make a positive difference. “While the political societies should take up the responsibility of their candidates, by way of training them, the government along with stakeholders, including the Bahrain Institute of Political Development and the Supreme Council for Women should help the independent candidates,” he said. However, he added that even in that scenario results should not be expected overnight. “We should remember that this cannot happen overnight and it should be an ongoing process,” he added. .