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

Afghan Youth Debates: Preventing Electoral Fraud

By Rahim Gul Nayel






Officials in Khost, a region in southern Afghanistan, have assured voters that government employees will not be allowed to interfere in the April elections.

Mobarez Mohammad Zadran, spokesman for the provincial governor, said robust security measures were in place to prevent any manipulation of the voting process and ensure that the presidential and provincial elections were free and fair.

Zadran was responding to concerns raised by students during a debate which IWPR held at the province’s Sheikh Zayed University on December 7. They noted the real risk of violence in Khost, and the danger that corrupt officials would try to fix the vote.

The 2009 presidential election was marred by widespread allegations of fraud. 

Zadran insisted that Khost, which borders on Pakistan, was now secure, arguing that even senior dignitaries now felt safe enough to travel by road to visit remote districts.

Sahebuddin Zadran, an official with the Afghan Independent Election Commission, said the province was well prepared for the election. Few problems had been encountered so far, and officials were confident they could prevent fraud, he said.

Rahim Gul Nayel is a student at Khost University.

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.