20 January 2004
Afghan President Karzai at the electoral registration.
(Photo by UNV)Kabul, Afghanistan:
Afghanistan’s President Hamid Karzai personally demonstrated the importance of the electoral process by registering himself as an eligible voter for the upcoming elections in his country.
"As an Afghan this has been my old desire and now I have the voting card and will vote for the person who I like," President Karzai told reporters who had witnessed the registration.
President Karzai was registered on Sunday 18 January by UN Volunteer Til Bahadur Subba (Bhutan) the UNDP Regional Registration Supervisor in Kabul. Working in collaboration with United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) the voter registration process currently involves 110 UN Volunteers from 49 countries including Gambia, Pakistan Romania, the Russian Federation and Indonesia.
The volunteers have been mobilized throughout Afghanistan as Provincial Field Coordinators, International Registration Supervisors (IRS), Logistical Support Officers, and Civic Education Training Officers.
Lars Narfeldt, the UN Volunteers Programme Manager in Kabul said so far a total of 486,104 Afghans (378,957 men and 107,147 women) have been registered for the election. "We hope to see the number of registered females increase significantly soon. It was an important moment to have the head of state registering for the upcoming election," he added, "it will help highlight the importance and raise visibility of this crucial step towards a better Afghanistan."