23 Apr 2018
Writer: Azizullah Popal

You must vote

Elections to Parliament will be held on Oct 20. The polls are long overdue.
The process should have started three years ago but it was sidetracked by the distribution of National Identity Cards and election cards. There is also doubts expressed by political parties, civil society and people about the system of voting for candidates.
Some complain about the non-transferability of votes and call it unjust. They want a system like earlier when the voter had favourites in any region or any polling centre.
Moreover, there is a loss of interest among voters in participation in elections. The lukewarm response has caused even high-ranking authorities in the government to criticise the process.
Dr. Abdullah Abdullah, chief executive of the national unity government, blamed poor awareness among people about the elections. The chief executive says that the response of people to register their names on voters' lists has been poor, particularly among women. There is a need to hold programmes to encourage more people to join in, he says.
Abdullah was speaking at a training programme in the Afghan capital to enlist people to register to vote in the parliamentary polls in different parts of the country. The three-day programme is being conducted simultaneously across the country.
Commenting on the poor response of women particularly, the chief executive said, "Lack of public awareness about elections is one of the reasons for the poor presence of people specifically the women so more awareness should be given in this regard."
The chief executive of the national government of Afghanistan went on to add, "I think more work will have to be done regarding raising public awareness and we are still hopeful that the Afghan people will get organised and we will witness more movement of people to the polling centres (on the day of the election)."
Abdullah asked all sections of people to visit the polling centres to shape the political destiny of their country. No one should lose the opportunity to take part in the election, he appealed.
He reminded people that poll fraud would be checked if more people vote.
Mohammad Yaqub Haidari, governor of Kabul province, said only 800 out of the province's 1.5 million eligible voters have registered.


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