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Afghan Youth Debates: Khost Promised Trouble-Free Vote

By Rahim Gul Nayel






Student voters in the southeast Afghan province of Khost have reaffirmed their commitment to taking part in the second round of the presidential election.

Speaking at a debate organised by IWPR, undergraduates said they recognised how important the second round was to shaping a better future for the country.

The June 14 run-off between Abdullah Abdullah and Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai is needed because no candidate secured more than 50 per cent of the vote in the initial April 5 poll.

Haidar Gul Mangal, a tribal elder, told the audience at the Lincoln Learning Centre in Khost city, "We have met with many voters and talked to them about the importance of this election. The people have assured us that they will take part."

Sahebuddin Zadran, regional head of the Independent Election Commission's (IEC) public awareness section, went on to discuss the efforts now being made to prepare for the second round.

Addressing the May 31 event, he said that all election materials were in place and that security officials in Khost had given assurances that polling stations and members of the public would be well protected on election day.

"We are ready, and we will hold the election without any problems," Zadran said. "We have met security officials several times and they have assured us that the vote will proceed without difficulties."

Rahim Gul Nayel is a student at Khost University 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.

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