North eastern Afghanistan hears about the elections

21 Jun 2009

North eastern Afghanistan hears about the elections

KABUL - Across Afghanistan a huge outreach programme is moving up a gear as hundreds of thousands of people start to hear about the forthcoming elections.

The north east of the country, which includes the provinces of Kunduz, Takhar, Baghlan and Badakhshan, is no exception, with the Public Outreach Department of the Independent Election Commission increasing its work.

“Since the beginning of the civic education process, which started on 24 May until 4 June, during that two weeks period our 211 civic educators covered 91,726 people (54,497 males and 37,229 females) in the provincial capitals and districts centres in the north eastern region via face to face sessions and we are extending the civic education activities to the villages for the next week,” said Muhammad Sadiq an IEC’s Public Outreach Officer for the NER.

Countrywide the Public Outreach Department of the IEC has the responsibility for and leadership of the public civic education process for the coming presidential and provincial council elections on 20 August.

The civic education programme is a huge outreach project with thousands of face to face sessions being conducted by civic educators.

Radio and TV spots, dramas and TV movies are being broadcast and printed publications such as posters, leaflets, brochures, stickers, fact sheets, flipcharts, banners, calendars, election magazines are being distributed.

Billboards, as well as small grants projects, mobile theatre, telephone messages and more are being used as well.

In the north east alone 10,850 posters, 19,670 brochures, 13,270 leaflets and 1,650 fact sheets have been distributed and the civic education mobile radio stations have been informing people in crowded areas.

Civic education teams have reached the all the districts in the north east, except five in Badakhshan where the roads have been cut off due to the floods.

Mr Sadiq from the IEC believes that almost 60 per cent of residents in the north east are now aware of the election process.

“By learning effective civic education skills during the two day training our civic educators started their work on both encouraging the people for the election and the technical issues and activities of polling day,” said Hamidullah Baluch a Public Outreach officer in Kunduz

“What is an election? An election is the alternative to war; an election encourages and calls the public to be united. Finally an election legally approves the Government at the national and international level,” said Mrs Zahara one of the civic educators in Kunduz.

Mrs Zahra is attending and educating the male and female classes and she believes that without working and efforts we can not reach to a democratic atmosphere in our war torn society.

“All the questions I had regarding the election were answered during the session which I attended today,” said Zainullah one of the participants in Mrs Zahra’s session class.

“We don’t have any problems except for security concerns which is getting worse and has a bad effect on civic education and the election process,” said Habib Rahman one of the civic educators in Kunduz.

By Shamsuddin Hamedi, UNAMA

Website: Afghanistan Independent Election Commission