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EXCLUSIVE: 66 per cent Afghans willing to vote

14 Jun 2018 Salam Watandar

KABUL (SW): A nationwide study by Salam Afghanistan Media Organization indicate 66 per cent of the citizens are set to cast vote in the forthcoming district and parliamentary elections.

The survey has been conducted in all 34 provinces of the country with 5160 respondents including 4416 men and 744 female. The study suggests 66 per cent of the respondents are inclined towards voting while only 34 per cent said they have no desire to cast vote.   

Insecurity, lack of trust in the electoral process, lack of awareness about the process and not having identity cards were cited as the main reasons by those not willing to vote. Iqbal Barzgar, correspondent political affairs, said on the occasion the main purpose of this exercise was to check the national mood in the backdrop of the troubled elections in 2014. He said the 66 per cent figure of potential voters does not demonstrate trust in the government and the electoral commissions, since the two have failed to nurture public confidence.  

He said 62 per cent respondants said they have no other option but to vote, which means people are willing to vote regardless of the lack of trust in the government. He said if the government failed to remove the trust defict, it would result in negative consequences.

 Head of the survey project, Shafiq Khatibi, said the participation of women in Paktia, Paktika and Uruzgan provinces was very low in contrast to the relatively higher participation of women in this study from Kabul, Badakhshan and Herat provinces.      

 Up to 40 per cent of the respondents were between the ages of 18 and 24 while 37 per cent were between the ages of 25 and 35.

As many as 377 respondents were with primary education, 1224 were illiterate, and 1320 were high-school graduates, 1033 graduates and 44 post-graduates.

This comes as the deadline set by the Independent Election Commission (IEC) for the potential candidates to submit nomination papers ended on Wednesday.

Gulajan Abdul Badi Sayad, IEC Chairman, told a presser here on Wednesday the deadline to file nomination papers has passed for the forthcoming district council and parliamentary elections across the country except Ghazni province. Mr. Sayad informed 981 men and 381 women have filed nomination papers for the Wolesi Jirga (lower house) while 851 men and 207 women have filed nomination papers for district councils.

The final list of approved candidates would be announced in two weeks’ time, he added.


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