79% Afghans ready to participate in parliamentary polls

Twenty-six percent people of 16 districts in six of Afghanistan’s eight zones are unaware about district council elections, a new survey has found.

The poll conducted by the Transparent Election Foundation of Afghanistan (TEFA) cited various reasons including people’s distrust on election bodies, insecurity and unawareness about district council elections for the prolonged delay in holding the vote.

The watchdog interviewed 147 people including tribal elders, government officials, civil society activists, members of rural development councils, provincial council members, private enterprises, women’s rights groups, youth and women in six months from August 1, 2015 to January 1, 2016 as part of the survey.

The survey said 33 percent of those interviews knew about district council elections, but 41 of them had little information, while 26 percent had no information.

Despite experiencing serious problems in the 2014 presidential elation, 79 percent of the interviewees said they were ready to participate in the upcoming parliamentary and district council elections and only six percent refused to participate in the elections and 15 percent were undecided.

TEFA Spokesman Sughra Saadat, who released the survey at a gathering in Kabul said that their aim was to spread advocacy, awareness and education about district council elections.

She said another goal of the survey was to ask people if they were aware and interested to partake in the district elections and to persuade relevant government organs to provide proper facilities to voters and ensure legal issues were solved on the spot.

The survey also provides some suggestions how to improve the image of elections in people’s eyes and suggests that people should be educated about elections and their importance by holding special gatherings and urged the media to help enlighten people’s mind in this regard.

A day earlier, Independent Election Commission (IEC) said they would announce the schedule for parliamentary and district councils next week, saying the commission was ready to hold the long due ballots.

Pajhwok Afghan News.

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