Survey reflects growing optimism
KABUL (Pajhwok): More than 62 percent participants of a survey released on Monday said last fall’s presidential election reflected people’s will and 28 percent cited corruption in electoral panels as a major challenge ahead.
In total 4,020 individuals were interviewed in the opinion poll conducted by the Democracy International (DI) across Afghanistan.
The survey released in Kabul said 81.6 percent people believed the country was moving in a right direction to some extent and half of them said the country was fully on track, 33 percent up from 2014.
The April elections reflected people’s will, said 62.1 percent of the respondents and 28 percent were concerned about corruption in the Independent Election Commission, calling it the biggest problem in the last elections.
Last week, the Independent Electoral Complaints Commission said fraud-tainted 10,000 IEC temporary employees and 20 permanent members as well as provincial officials would be included in the black list and removed from jobs.
The watchdog’s facts finding committee in its three months long investigation had found these officials involved in fraud and other irregularities in the April provincial council and presidential elections.
The DI survey said 16.6 percent of the interviewees called ballot papers shortages and 15.1 percent fraud as the biggest problems in the previous elections.
It said 57.7 percent participants believed votes in the elections had been cast on ethnic lines and 62.2 percent said the nationwide vote recount had won people’s trust in the presidential election results.
Zekria Barekzai, chief technical advisor at the DI, said the survey was conducted after the unity government’s formation in order to “raise people’s awareness about democracy and elections.”
He said their findings and research could be used in conducting better elections in future. “The report serves as a lesson for voters to critically observe candidates before voting for them.”
He expressed optimism reforms in Afghanistan’s electoral system would take place soon which he thought was a necessity.
Fatana Gilani, Afghan Women’s Council head, said a lot of money was being spent on such surveys, but they had no benefit. “It would be better if this money is spent on women’s education, healthcare, and improving the electoral system.”
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