Laghman leaders urge citizens to participate in upcoming elections

6 May 2018

Laghman leaders urge citizens to participate in upcoming elections

MEHTARIAM - Participants in a UN-backed radio programme in Laghman’s capital city urged Afghan citizens to exercise their democratic rights by registering to vote.

Speaking during a discussion broadcast by Laghman’s Raghoon Radio, panellists from the eastern province underscored the correlation between elections, peace and development, and called on eligible citizens to seize the opportunity to participate in the October polls.

“If we want to have a prosperous, stable and civilized country, we have to rely on elections and other democratic processes,” said Jawid Masroor, head of Laghman’s Journalist Council.

Other panellists, including a Department of Women’s Affairs representative, a civil society member, and a religious leader, all spoke about the need for Afghans to take ownership of the electoral process.

“Democracy and peace are interlinked,” said Spogmay Babakarkhil, a panellist and head of a local non-governmental organization. “If there is democracy, it may lead to peace and stability, and when we have stability, it strengthens peace and democracy.

During the programme, an official from the Department of Women’s Affairs in Laghman detailed how the department recently launched a campaign to urge women to acquire identity cards so they can register to vote. “Any democratic process that takes place without women’s participation cannot be considered genuine,” said Abida Ludin, a Women’s Affairs official.

During a similar televised programme broadcast out of Jalalabad by Sharq TV, the head of the IEC in Nangahar, Zabihullah Wagaray, said that elections are a national process whose success depends on the support and participation of everyone, including women.

The Sharq TV and Raghoon broadcasts, facilitated by UNAMA’s Jalalabad regional office, reached audiences in and around the two capitals of Jalalabad and Mehtariam estimated at 1 million people in the former and 400,000 in the latter. 

The United Nations, together with other international organizations, continues to support Afghanistan’s electoral process, maintaining that the success of the elections lies not only with electoral bodies but also with all stakeholders, including political parties, media, civil society and voters.