Civil society in northeast in dialogue with local authorities on upcoming elections
KUNDUZ - Representatives of civil society networks from northeastern Afghanistan met in Fayzabad to initiate a dialogue with local authorities on upcoming elections and to discuss civil society recommendations for the electoral process.
The civil society network, bringing together non-governmental organizations from Kunduz, Takhar, Badakhshan and Baghlan, was formed in October 2017 after extensive cooperation between UNAMA and Afghan civil society in the region on issues such as peace, reconciliation, transparency, and rule of law.
The members believe that the network is in a good position to represent the concerns of communities across the four provinces. They were encouraged by the Kunduz Provincial Governor Asadullah Omarkhel who said: “We all should be united in reaching our goals of creating and improving prosperous and peaceful communities; we can’t be divided. Civil society members are a bridge between the government and the people; this bridge becomes stronger if we are able to share advice with each other.”
The recent meeting in Fayzabad is evidence that united civil society organizations are emboldened to proactively engage with local authorities while raising issues of common interest in all four provinces.
The participants stressed that conducting elections as scheduled is a matter of bolstering public trust in the current government and democratic processes in the country. Civil society in the northeast is aware of the gravity of the matter and is ready to cooperate with local authorities in the electoral process, they said.
Afghanistan’s parliamentary and districts councils’ elections are planned for 7 July 2018. The Election Law stipulates that it is the right of every eligible woman and man of voting age to register as a voter and/or candidate, and participate in elections. Challenges notwithstanding, work across the country has begun by the government and electoral commissions to prepare for the crucial vote.
Badakhshan, located in the northeast of Afghanistan, is a mountainous province bordering with Pakistan, China and Tajikistan. It is famous for its scenic landscape with the highest peak in Afghanistan, Noshaq, and a national park in the Wakhan Corridor, a panhandle stretching east.
UNAMA supports the Afghan people and government to achieve peace and stability. In accordance with its mandate as a political mission, UNAMA backs conflict prevention and resolution, promoting inclusion and social cohesion, as well as strengthening regional cooperation. The Mission supports effective governance, promoting national ownership and accountable institutions that are built on respect for human rights.