2 Dec. 2008
PR# 2008-677

ISAF general visits centre at which 16,000 citizens have registered to vote

Rear Admiral Matthieu Borsboom, ISAF’s deputy chief of staff for stability, sits down with organisers of an Afghan voter registration site located at Aishia Durani High School Dec. 1. To date, the site has registered more than 16,000 citizens to vote in the August 2009 general election.

KABUL, Afghanistan - More than 16,000 people have registered to vote in the August 2009 Afghanistan general election at a voter registration site established in Kabul’s Aishia Durani High School.

The site, which is one of 360 located throughout the country, has been operating for a month and benefitted from a rigorous community campaign by organisers of the registration site. Throughout the country, most educational and medical institutions have been tasked with providing a space to conduct voter registration.

Rear Admiral Matthieu Borsboom, ISAF’s deputy chief of staff for stability, visited the registration site at Aisha Durani Dec. 1 to witness first hand how the registration process, is progressing.

“It’s a good process because [it has been] invented by the Afghans; they decided on it and conduct [it] with Afghan people,” he said. “It’s a step by step process that has been made very clear for the people, and I think they are doing quite well. What I found very interesting is that the ladies would motivate other women to vote.”

The chief of the female voter registration section at Aishia Durani High School, Shaima, said the information campaign undertaken by her and other organisers at the school has helped considerably in getting the word out to Afghan citizens about the importance of the general election.

“It’s important for Afghans to have the right to choose their own president,” she said. “This is for their future, and people need to know that. This process makes it easier for them.”

Shaima explained the registration process for Afghans is simple and encouraged all Afghans to stop by a centre to register. All that is required is proper identification to start the process, which will end with their receiving a card in order to allow them to vote next year.

Registration sites are being established throughout the country to allow the voting process to take place in private, Shaima noted.

Voter registration will continue through to the end of February, after which Afghans will have a chance to review candidates and their campaigns for the general election in August.

Contact Information ISAF Public Affairs Office
Tel: +93 (0)799 51 1155 - Mobile: 0093 (0) 799 55 8291 pressoffice@hq.isaf.nato.int - www.nato.int/isaf/