National and foreign organizations have stated that women’s full participation in elections is a fundamental right and is vital for strengthening democracy.
CEO Calls For Transparent And Fair Elections
The National Unity Government’s (NUG) Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah on Saturday called for transparent and fair elections in the country, and said all work by the Independent Election Commission (IEC) will impact future generations.
Speaking at an event in Kabul on women’s role in the election process, Abdullah said the outcome of the previous elections was still being felt and was painful for society. He said that the people’s rights should be maintained in the upcoming elections.
According to Abdullah the war in the country is against groups that do not believe in elections.
He said these groups would benefit from elections that are not transparent and that the insurgents would only strengthen their activities on the back of a lack of public confidence in the process.
Abdullah also said that both men and women need to cast their votes equally, and without this peace would not be possible in the country.
He did however reject claims that district councils have little role to play in government and said that these councils were needed in order to strengthen democracy.
Speaking at the same event, the Independent Election Commission’s (IEC) Chairman Abdul Badi Sayyad gave his word that the upcoming elections would be transparent.
However, Sayyad said that in addition to the enemies of the country, other powerful figure were trying to derail the election process.
But he said not a single vote would be lost – that all votes would be counted.
Meanwhile, on Thursday the IEC said that over eight million Afghans have so far registered across the country to vote in the October 20 parliamentary and district council elections.
In April, the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) said women’s participation in the upcoming elections is a crucial component for strengthening Afghanistan’s democracy.
Many factors continue to undermine women’s participation in elections, including the general security situation along with the long distances they must travel to polling centers, particularly in rural areas.
While the Afghan government has taken steps to protect and improve women’s participation in public processes through legislation, the situation remains unchanged for many women of the country, including the women of eastern provinces, where harmful traditional practices are still prevalent, UNAMA reported at the time.
UNAMA said it maintains that women’s full participation – as candidates, electoral workers and voters – is a fundamental right, and that enhancing women’s participation in all stages of the electoral process is vital for strengthening democracy.