As the Afghan city of Kandahar gears up for elections, authorities say they have thwarted an attempted bombing, and police are checking for mines at polling stations. At the same time, election officials are making sure their staff know their roles, which include handing out ballots, ushering people behind screens to vote, and dipping their thumbs in indelible ink to ensure they do not cast their ballots twice.
It’s Afghanistan’s first nationwide vote and its being seen as a landmark in efforts to establish democracy after years of warfare and regional control by warlords and their forces. On the record, many Afghans say they’re aching for democracy, or, at the very least, the end of factionalism and regional control by warlords. But will the Afghan nation support such a notion?
Tune in tonight for a look at how Afghanistan is preparing for the country’s momentous Election Day.
Tom Barfield, professor of anthropology at Boston University, member of the executive board of the American Institute of Afghan Studies, author of “Central-Asian Arabs of Afghanistan: Pastoral Nomadism in Transition”
Scott Baldauf, foreign correspondent for the Christian Science Monitor
Anne Bernard, foreign correspondent for The Boston Globe
Michael Kleinman, advocacy coordinator for CARE
Barbara J.Stapleton, Agency Coordinating Body for Afghan Relief (ACBAR).