Photoshop Candidates: Joke Festival
2018-11-23 - 4:31 ص
Bahrain Mirror (Exclusive): Some candidates running in the 2018 Parliamentary elections remind us of the amusing contestants who join the Arab Idol contest. Usually, these contestants enter with full confidence, claiming that they are multi-talented, before their terrible voices shock the judges and make them burst into laughter at their catastrophic performances, until they beg the contestants, who continue to sing confidently, to stop. These contestants never hesitate to ask the judges for a second or third chance.
We laugh a lot while watching such performances. There is no doubt that the contest producers broadcast these performances to show the catastrophic performers that come to take part in the show and add an ambiance of joy. You keep asking yourself: Are these participants serious or are they being humorous? Are these people making fun of themselves or the show?
Now leading up to the 2018 Parliamentary elections, we witness weird examples like those in Arab Idol, people whom we don't know how they suddenly came to be in the public space, and most importantly, we don't know where they get their surprising statements from.
Candidate Nadia Al-Omar was an easy target for the tweeters who mocked her. Akhbar Al-Khaleej newspaper published the news of her candidacy with a picture covering her hair with a veil that was added via Photoshop. The candidate didn't even bother to take a new photo of herself wearing veil like other candidates, who are trying to earn the votes of the conservatives.
One tweeter said: "Some people counterfeit money and fake university and PhD degrees, but a veil with Photoshop! This is new".
However, it was not only the Photoshop that lit up social media, but also her statement in which she pledge "to provide 100 free Umrah to the residents of the district every year as soon as she wins the election". This was the final blow. She also pledged to provide "a hall dedicated to the weddings and community events consisting of a section for children, a section for women, and another one for sports for both sexes and a section to display Bahraini products," noting that "it will be open throughout the year to serve the people of the district freely and under the management of the residents."
The most serious thing about the candidate's statement was that it was a public bribe, as bribery is a blatant violation of Bahrain's electoral law and requires a penalty ranging from 3 months to 1 year in jail or hefty fines. Among the comments made under the candidate's statement said: "Are these bribes or not?!"
Another tweeter commented on the candidate's promises: "If your veil is fake sister and is done with Photoshop, who will guarantee that your promises are not fake too?"
On the following day after these comments, the candidate denied publishing this statement in the newspaper, and demanded the publication of her denial. However, she could not delete her image with Photoshop, and other comments flooded social media mocking her: "Unfortunately, the 100 Umrah are also Photoshop."
The other target of the internet's mockery was a strange statement made by a candidate for the third district from the Northern Province, Hamid Ali Al-Haddar, who said that he will "fight insects and rodents, and put an end to natural disasters!"
Here we fail to comment, as we try to find out the types of natural disasters which Bahrain suffers from and which the candidate intends to solve. Some tweeters commented: "I swear to God you are a disaster if you get nominated."
Perhaps the candidate Fadel Al-Dirazi, whom no one knew before, and who calls himself a national activist, is the most humorous of them all. Anyone following his page can't stop laughing, as he published several photos of himself holding a microphone in his hand and standing as a preacher delivering a speech to a crowd that does not exist. He flooded his Twitter page with statements, such as: "I will create the largest bloc in the history of the nation and it will cover all the governorates," he then appointed himself as the president of this bloc, which no one knows and does not include anyone else but hom. He also started issuing one statement after the other and all of them began with: "National activist Fadel Al-Dirazi, head of the National Renaissance bloc..... " He also launched a channel for himself on YouTube, which he filled with videos he filmed himself as a speaker and entitled the videos as "urgent".
Nazim Hashem, parliamentary candidate for the sixth district of the southern province, seems as if he does not live in Bahrain, or does not follow the actual situation in Bahrain, as Bahrainis suffer from the rise of the public debt, since the authorities are paying off this accumulated deficit from the pockets of citizens. He makes a statement irrelevant to the reality of the situation saying: "I seek to grant summer allowance to every Bahraini employee!"
Then comes the candidate of the fourth district, Rashid Al-Binali, who issues even more wild statements that is far from reality, demanding: to allocate a monthly salary to citizens from the revenues of the shale oil discovery! The candidate's imagination is shared by Abdullah Al-Thawadi, who says: I count on oil discoveries and will seek legislations for investing in them!
"I will devote half of my salary to pay the loans of citizens of limited income and under the supervision of a charitable association," said candidate of the northern fourth district, Mohammad Yousif. Parliamentary candidate Adel Al-Dossari, has the same thoughts of Mohammad Yousif. He says as a gesture of returning the favor to voters, "I will devote half my salary for humanitarian cases, and I will seek to make allowances for school students!"
The project of the parliamentary candidate Ali Al-Saeed includes "Metro or tram covering Hamad town and its suburbs". While candidate Falah Al-Haddad summarizes the most important points of his election program: "I will seek to return school hours to 1:30 pm instead of 2:15 pm!"
Perhaps candidate Kolthom Al-Hayiki tried to protect herself from falling into the pitfalls of speech that would make her susceptible to criticism and ridicule, and declared: "I will not write slogans. The path of change is full of pitfalls," leaving us wondering: What next?!
One tweeter ridiculed them saying: "Some of the candidates insist on humiliating themselves to turn from candidates to laughing-stocks!"
While we are still waiting for more of these out-worldly statements from candidates, we find ourselves facing the same question with regards to the comic performances in the famous Arab Idol program: "Are these candidates really serious or are they only being silly?! Are they making fun of themselves or the Parliament?!
In our Bahraini case, there is a two-sided irony, Photoshop candidates know very well that the election is only a photoshopped picture, and the Parliament as well. We have heard from candidates photoshopped promises and photoshopped demands. Laugh, we're at a joke festival.
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