Excerpts from an Interview with a Provincial Council Candidate

[From the day after voting.]

“Compared with previous elections the people’s participation in this election gave me great hope and showed a shift in how people are thinking about politics…Personally I am very happy with yesterday’s elections.  It is not so important to me whether I win or not.  What is important is the high turnout, the sincere way that voters approached the election and their interest.  Even though in the past the government and provincial councils have done little for the people and a high turnout rate was not expected, still people came out peacefully and in great numbers.

One of the more disappointing aspects of the vote was the way that various stations in the west of Kabul ran out of ballots.  These are densely settled parts of the city and even though ballot shortages have been an issue in the past, still the IEC (Independent Election Commission) and other officials have not learned how to fix this…It was reported that in most parts of the central provinces where Hazaras live, they had run out of ballots by midday.  In many centers in Dashte Barchi [a Hazara neighborhood in Western Kabul] people left the stations angry after they ran out of ballots.

[Other than this] the voting was very transparent.  There were a lot of observers representing presidential  and provincial council campaigns, as well as members of civil society watching the voting process.  So far I am happy with the transparency of the election…and I only hope that the counting process is also transparent. “

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