Monday, April 26, 2010

Nad-e Ali hosts “Super-Shura”

More than 1100 people from throughout the District of Nad-e Ali attended a ‘super-shura’ today to discuss the upcoming District Council elections.

The shura was held in District Governor Habibullah’s compound and was attended by the Provincial Governor of Helmand, Gulab Mangal.

The process to elect a new District Council was discussed as the current District Council, elected back in February 2009, is being dissolved. Governor Mangal and the Chairman of the Provincial Council spoke to the assembled crowds.

They both commented on the improved security situation in the District after the run up to the February 2009 elections was plagued by insurgent violence and intimidation of the local nationals. Those elections eventually had to be held in nearby Lashkar Gah because the Nad-e Ali District was so unstable.

Governor Mangal stressed the importance of local communities taking responsibility for their own futures.

He said: “We need you to bring your children to be educated and we need you to save our country. ISAF and the security they bring here are far from their homes and will not be here forever”

The District Governor said: “This is an encouraging start to electoral process, you need to select good people to work for you on the District Council”

There will be now 3 local electoral zone shuras held next week where a list of notables will be drawn up to be approved ready for the election of the 11th May. 44 Council members will be elected and the 45th member will be appointed by the Provincial Governor.

The huge number of attendees who clearly want to engage positively with the election process is a good indication that the legitimacy of the governance in the district is improving.

ISAF supported the ‘super-shura’ by providing advisory teams from the Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT).

The Governance Advisor, Derek Griffiths, said: “This super-shura lived up to its name. The situation 14 months ago was hugely different from today, the security situation has improved greatly and has allowed the local people to have a voice and take part in the election of the community council.”

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