JALALABAD (PAN): Five days ahead of the presidential and provincial council elections, a day-long workshop featuring tribal elders and religious scholars from the eastern Kandahar province began in Jalalabad Saturday morning.

Arranged by Afghanistan's Independent Election Commission's regional office in the city, IEC official Roohullah Momand said the participants would be briefed on the importance of the poll process.

He added the objective behind the event was to educate the attendees on how to raise awareness among the people about the elections and the importance of a high voter turnout.

During the voter registration drive ahead of the 2004 elections, Momand recalled, the IEC had arranged a similar event for women and religious scholars in a bid to enhance public awareness. As a result, 80 percent of eligible voters registered themselves with the poll panel.

Haj and Auqaf Director Maulvi Asadullah Sajid, in a chat with Pajhwok Afghan News, acknowledged the role of religious scholars in the elections. "I want all tribal elders and ulema to tell the masses about the importance of elections."


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