Seminar on challenges to polls organised
JALALABAD (PAN): Speakers discussed challenges to the April 2014 presidential and provincial council elections at a seminar in eastern Nangarhar province on Sunday.
Government officials and civil society representatives attended the event, organised by the Makhtag (Progress) Consultative Services in Jalalabad.
The NGO head and former Maidan Wardak governor, Halim Fidaee, told Pajhwok Afghan News the seminar was aimed to highlight the government policy on elections and related issues.
“Policy-related problems will be shared with domestic and foreign policymaking institutions,” Fidaee said, adding similar seminars would be arranged in all eight zones of the country.
The continuing insurgency was a big challenge to democratic and inclusive polls, believed the ex-governor, who asked candidates to conduct campaigns across the country and induce people into taking part in the elections.
Iqbal Azizi, the former Logar governor and member of the NGO, said ballot alone guaranteed peace. Voters could bring stability to the country by exercising their franchise sagaciously, he added.
“The country’s future will be determined in April 2014,” Azizi observed, referring to next year’s elections. He urged countrymen to exercise their voting right in a responsible manner to ensure a brilliant future for the country.
He hailed the measures taken by the Independent Election Commission to ensure election transparency, but warned that Afghanistan’s fate would continue to hang in the balance unless people were educated on the value of vote.
Presidential Advisor Dilbar Jan Arman, meanwhile, welcomed the seminar as a positive step that deserved good media coverage. “Another impediment to polls is corruption, which has fuelled concerns among the masses. But the situation can be remedied if people vote wisely.”
Deputy Governor Mohammad Hanif Gardiwal also praised the event as a good initiative to promote public awareness. Plans for conducting the elections efficiently in Nangarhar would be implemented, he promised.
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