20th May 2013 Zimbabwe
Huge support for Helmand community elections
Residents of a key district in Afghanistan have participated in huge numbers as registration for the District Community Council (DCC) elections began yesterday.
More than 2000 people from Nad-e Ali in Helmand province attended a district Shura (meeting) led by Provincial Governor Naeem Baluch and supported by community leaders.
The District Governor, Mohammad Ibrahm, opened the meeting with a speech recognising the contribution and good work of elected DCC members over the last three years. He told the Shura that achievements in Nad-e-Ali have been due to public support and hard work by community elders.
“DCC members work shoulder to shoulder with us, working for the people, and what you see today – a district in this stage of democracy – is a result of their hard work,” he said.
Speaking about the importance of this week’s elections he added:
“Today is an important day. Today is the start of your future. Your vote is your power, use it to elect the real elder for your area.”
Provincial Governor Naeem reinforced the importance of people using their vote. Speaking of the qualities of effective DCC leaders he said: “Vote for the elder who will build your children’s and their children’s future, the elder who will hold the Government to account and fight for your rights.”
“The coming year is the start of stability and democracy, not the end,” he added.
This week will see the people of Nad-e-Ali register to participate in the election. After the first two days of registration, 2200 came forward from all the zones of Nad-e-Ali. It is anticipated that this will be the largest election held in Helmand to date.
On the first day of registration, 690 residents came from the Kopak area to register, last year this area was still contested and had no representative on the current District Community Council.
- District Community Councils currently operate in seven Helmand districts covering 80% of the population. More than 34,000 Helmandis have voted in District Community Council elections since 2009 and over 300 people have served as District Councillors.
- Community political representation and participation is at the core of the Helmand Model of Sub-National Governance that Helmand PRT has pioneered.