Institute for War and Peace Reporting | Giving Voice, Driving Change

Afghan Youth Debates: Election Security Top Concern to the Last

By Rahim Gul Nayel






Ahead of the April 5 Afghan elections, students in the southeastern province of Khost said security was still a major worry.

At an IWPR debate held at Sheikh Zayed University just two days before the vote, undergraduates asked police and staff from the Independent Election Commission (IEC) whether sufficient measures were in place to protect voters.

Sahebuddin Zadran, a regional spokesman for the IEC, said he was confident the security forces were well-prepared for election day.

"Any potential security issues have already been resolved by government forces and we're confident of holding the ballot without experiencing any major problems," Zadran told students. “We have already taken all the necessary election materials to the relevant districts."

Colonel Rahmat Gul, a legal advisor to the chief of police in Khost, claimed that officers were fully in control in all the polling station locations in the region, and were ready to respond to possible threats.

“There are 187 polling stations across Khost province and they will all be open to voters," he said.

In other areas of Afghanistan, particularly in the south, officials were forced to close some polling station because of the risk of insurgent attacks.

Rahim Gul Nayel is a university student in Khost and an IWPR trainee. 

This report was produced as part of Open Minds: Speaking Up, Reaching Out – Promoting University and Youth Participation in Afghan Elections, an IWPR initiative funded by the US embassy in Kabul.