Although the presidential campaign is in full swing and journalists are focused on this, elections for the provincial council members are equally important because these are the representatives who deal with the people at local level and directly address their problems and demands.
Each provincial council sends one representative on permanent basis and another on temporary to the Upper House of Parliament, which has an important role in law-making and oversight of the government.
For this reason Pajhwok wants its reporters to make special efforts on coverage of the provincial council elections and report it in a thorough way.
Pajhwok Afghan News editors have assessed all provinces on the basis of their particular status, standards and importance in security, economy and political impact.
-- Priority is given to coverage of the provinces on the basis of its position in our assessment, but reporters and editors will also keep an eye on the issues at a higher level.
-- Regional reporters should prepare a list of candidates in each province and collect information about them.
-- Collectively, report on the problems of the area and point out the major competitions, trends, and important candidates on these issues. -- Examples of such reporting may be: how candidates are addressing a particular provincial issue such as lack of clean water; former commanders who have registered their names as candidates for the elections; or whether women have been able to participate in a province for their campaign.
--Questions should be directed at finding out how candidates would specifically address the problems described by voters, as well as learning how well the candidates understand the sources of the problems.
Some sample questions from a candidate of the provincial council:
-- What will your party do for the provision of clean drinking water in this village?
-- How will your election to the council help the people of this village?
-- How did it happen that not a single bridge was made for that village in five years?
Question from a candidate who is an incumbent:
-- What work have you done in the past five years which helped the people in each village?