People’s sacrifice for participation in election; the responsibility of gov’t

Tuesday, 24 April 2018 02:56 Written by  Read 94 times

The level of threats against voter registration process for the upcoming parliamentary and district council election is extremely high. The attack on voter registration centers in Kabul and other provinces showed that the process is facing serious challenges, the major of which is insecurity. When the government cannot provide security for voter registration centers in provincial capitals, how the residents of rural areas will dare to register their names and go to the polls.
Such attacks can further discourage the people already distrustful of election. Afghan people largely lost their faith in election due to vote rigging in 2014 presidential election and the subsequent power-sharing deal signed between the two top runners in a reckless disregard for the result of the election. Additionally, the government’s repetitive betrayal of its promises to reform the electoral system further contributed to the distrust. Since its inception, the government had been promising to distribute electronic national identity cards prior to the election, but that national project, which was the only way to ensure transparency in election, was also sacrificed for a political compromise.
Despite the prevalent mistrust, the war-weary Afghan nation still sees election as the only way for a peaceful transition of power. They still hope they can shape the future of their country through ballots. While they take the risk and participate in election, their participation should not cost their lives. They go to the polls in the hope of having a bright future, but their participation should not deprive them of the future.
The government has to respect the sacrifice of people, and provide security for them throughout the election process. Right now, tens of security forces are tasked to provide security for senior government officials and strongmen, while only two guards have been posted to maintain security at each voter registration center. It is the responsibility of the government, using all its resources, to not only provide security for people to participate in election but also guarantee the transparency of election. It will be a big injustice when people take a huge risk by participating in election, but fraud and political deal determine the fate of election instead of their clean votes. If the public is not assured that their votes can bring about a change, they will never put their lives at stake by going to the polls in the coming elections.

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