OCCI elections: How about some introspection?

Ali Al Matani  – ali.matani2@gmail.com – The recent elections to the Oman Chamber of Commerce and Industry (OCCI) were nothing but celebration of democracy in the country. On January 28, businessmen and entrepreneurs rushed to the polling booths across the country with enthusiasm to elect their representatives for the council of the chamber.
Elaborate arrangements were made for the elections. The process of holding the elections passed through various stages, as anywhere in the world. Measures were taken to create an atmosphere conducive for free and fair elections, and smooth polling.
Voters were given an opportunity to democratically elect a person they think could better represent them in this council. Their participation was important to strengthen their role in the decision-making process.
But some of us were not aware of the importance of such activity. It is important for all of us to take note of positive aspects of this process and move ahead in the direction of a better future.
But the turnout of voters is one of the indicators of their carelessness. By showing up at the polling booth in large numbers and participating actively, they can contribute in the further improvement of the process to ensure a better future.
This was a big opportunity to elect representatives to various councils and institutions. Despite all this negligence from our side, we try to find loopholes in the performance of the members. We forget who has elected them.
These are important points to consider while conducting experiments of participation in decision-making and making the process a success and to get rid of some wrong-doings. In future we must take care of these issues so that such experiments prove to be successful.
OCCI election was a foundation stone for an entire system of participation in the decision-making.
In the early eighties, there were a number of developments, and repeated experiences were made for transparency in the selection of representatives.
If we look at these elections, we see that there was a lot of noise from supporters and those who opposed vis-à-vis the method of electing a representative. There was much talk about the options of direct elections or a mix of elections and nominations.
However, later all of them were convinced there should only be direct elections. All these views had positive and negative elements. We are still introspecting and trying to find out where we committed mistakes while choosing our representatives so that we can do better in the interest of the OCCI, people and the country.
There are still some weaknesses in the robustness of these elections. We think it was an effort to deliver what was expected from it.
However, we can say with confidence that these councils and elections are moving ahead in the right direction where we wanted them to be. We can also say this was due to the confidence in the system, which gives us the right to elect. It is also mandatory for us to know how to improve our role while electing a representative.
Now, we have to try to meet all the aspirations of everyone connected with it and do away all negativities and get rid of indiscipline. This is what is required for better future of the country and the chamber.
It is natural that success in any process of change is not easy. It is not served on a golden platter.
We hoped that we would improve our choice of representatives in the council of the OCCI and get rid of all issues that lead to a less turnout during such experiments. It is important to have such experiments to reach an ideal position.