WASHINGTON, D.C. — As the Afghan Presidential election draws closer, Voice of America’s Afghan Service is airing a series of exclusive interviews with the candidates, who discuss major issues facing the country and take questions from viewers.
“This is an opportunity for our audience to learn about the candidates’ views on issues that are critical to the country’s future,” said Masood Farivar, VOA Afghan Service Chief.
“Dozens of questions for each contender have already poured in on social media, “Farivar said. “This has never been done. No one else has engaged candidates in such serious conversations or allowed members of the Afghan audience to ask questions.”
The interviews, in both Dari and Pashto, can be seen on VOA’s popular Ashna TV, which airs Saturday through Thursday at 6:00 pm Kabul time.
In all, VOA will air interviews with eleven candidates running in the April 5th presidential election. Full versions of the interviews can be found on VOA’s Dari and Pashto webpages, and YouTube channel.
So far, VOA’s Afghan Service has aired interviews with Qutbuddin Hilal, Abdul Qayum Karzai, the older brother of current President Hamid Karzai, Gen. Abdul Rahim Wardak, and Hedayat Amin-Arsala. Interviews with seven other candidates, including former finance minister Ashraf Ghani and opposition leader Dr. Abdullah Abdullah, are scheduled for broadcast over the next week.
VOA’s Ashna Radio is also airing interviews with the presidential candidates at 8:00 pm local time.
In addition to these interviews, VOA’s Ashna Radio has been providing news updates and interviews about the presidential election campaign on a weekly program called Talk and Listen, (Goft-o-Shanod Khabry Atary).
Hosted by Dari- and Pashto-speaking journalists in Kabul and Washington, the program airs live on Tuesday evenings in Afghanistan. Since its debut, guests have included Azizullah Ludin, the former head of the Afghan Independent Election Commission (IEC), and Afghan Senator Zalmai Zabuli.