HYBRID CAMPAIGNS AND THE COST IMPLICATION TO PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATES

Published by Patra K on

Hybrid Campaigns and the Cost Implication to Presidential Candidates

November 09, 2020 was the official date set by the Electoral commission for Presidential candidates to get on the campaign trail. The national electoral commission indicated that election campaigns would be hybrid. The context of hybrid campaigns require that presidential candidates popularize their candidature using media (radio, TV and social media) and consultation meetings. Even before the campaigns begun, presidential candidates were already crying foul claiming they had inadequate or no financial wherewithal to popularize their candidature using
hybrid election campaign.

The EC used the hybrid model to justify a reduction in the number of campaign days to 65 from the usual 90. Similarly, media houses have formed cartels through their national and regional associations to set and hike rates of airtime for candidates on TV and radio. This is the time owners of radio and television stations expect to earn big from political candidates. This is an electoral commission signal to them that you can attract a lot of business from a hybrid election.

The presidential candidates ought to identify financing options to be on media and also conduct limited consultative meeting across 146 districts if they need to sell their candidature. Short of that, it’s a no show for some if not most of them! It could be time to
chicken out of the race for those with “short pockets” and this will most likely happen.
Candidates with money will automatically crowd out those without which makes the electoral playing field unleveled. This scenario raises the question; Did the candidates prepare any financing options for presidential election campaigns? Does this provide us
mediocre candidates to occupy time and space on the political arena? Good political ideology is sold using legitimate campaign spending. Let the candidates’ campaign and strategists get back to the drawing board. May the best candidate win!

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