Runoff election campaign dull in Bamyan

BAMYAN CITY (Pajhwok): Residents and civil society activists say they have noticed the general public is less interested in the election campaign for the runoff presidential elections in central Bamyan province as compared to their enthusiasm in the April elections.
Campaign officials say they had been able to organise big rallies in Bamyan City in the lead up to the April 5 elections, but this time they had shifted their focus to districts and hard-to-reach areas.
Umeed Riffat, a civil society activist, told Pajhwok Afghan News there had been big public meetings, speeches, posters and hectic canvassing during the first round but that zeal could not be seen during the ongoing campaign.
He said the hectic campaigns had been a result of the high turnout in the previous elections.
Murad Ali, a hotel owner in Bamyan City, said 30 to 50 guests campaigning for their leaders during the first round of presidential polls would visit and stay at his hotel. He saw the lukewarm response from the public to the ongoing electioneering a setback to his business.
Some presidential candidates had visited Bamyan in the run-up to the April 5 elections, explaining their future plans, but the ongoing campaign progressed with little interest from the general public in much of Bamyan with only ten days to go for the ballot.
But Sattar Ashna, Ashraf Ghani’s change and continuity team manager in Bamyan, said their campaign was on track and effective than the previous one.
“Our campaigners are visiting local areas to explain the change and continuity team’s manifesto,” he said.
Abdullah’s reform and unanimity team campaigners said they focused this time around on districts and rural areas to garner public support.
Security officials have assured tight security for the runoff elections, saying only one polling site faces higher security threat in Bamyan.

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