Elections Held for Afghanistan Independent Journalists Association

The Afghanistan Independent Journalists Association (AIJA), with the support of the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and the European Commission (EC) recently held its first national elections in seven years on Monday March 26, in Kabul, Afghanistan.

AIJA members from thirty Afghan provinces elected Khpolwak Safi as the President of the association and three others as Deputy President, Secretary and Treasurer.

Ms Sharifa Zormati was elected from a field of six nominees – AIJA’s first female Deputy President.    

Ahmad Hanayesh, from Parwan Province, was elected as the second Deputy President.

Former AIJA President, Rahimullah Samandar, did not stand for re-election but was elected Secretary General.

The day of the election coincided with the launch of two key publications:

· The Afghanistan Media For Democracy Handbook, which includes chapters on transitional justice, the status of local news, media and democratic processes and new information drawn from a pre-election survey and includes contributions by some of Afghanistan’s most senior journalists and media personalities.

· The Afghanistan National Opinion Poll – a national survey of voter’s opinions about the democratic process and transition in Afghanistan.

Following the election, AIJA members also participated in two days of training on Safety and Security; and Union Leadership Skills.

“The IFJ congratulates the AIJA for the successful holding of its recent election”, IFJ Asia-Pacific Director Jacqueline Park said.

“The AIJA have played an important role in ensuring that media workers in Afghanistan continue to have a voice in Afghanistan.

We commend them for their ongoing commitment to press freedom, and their work fighting for the improved safety, rights and conditions of their members.”

For further information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific on +61 2 9333 0950

The IFJ represents more than 600,000 journalists in 131 countries

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