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Afghan election candidates do battle online

Video by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2009-08-19

As Taliban insurgents spread fear in the streets, candidates in Afghanistan's presidential poll do battle online. Also in today's programme: Peruvian bloggers vent their frustration at the slow pace of reconstruction two years after deadly quakes.

Presidential election in Afghanistan

Afghan voters are called to the polls to elect their President this Thursday. The official campaign ended on Monday amidst a climate of insecurity, but in this country where the Internet has steadily grown since the fall of the Taliban in 2001, candidates remain mobilized online.

The outgoing president Hamid Karzai, very popular among voters, has a campaign website on which his speeches are transcribed and clips are posted. And on Facebook, supporters are rallying behind the candidate who represents, for them, stability.
 
Meanwhile, former foreign minister Abdullah Abdullah has based his campaign around change. The main opponent of Karzai is supported by many bloggers like this one, who has followed him throughout his campaign.
 
A strategy which is also used by the academic Ashraf Ghani. On his official website, his supporters were invited to download this telephone ring tone, a song praising this former Minister of Finance, or to display these banners on their blogs.
 
Finally, less prominent candidates such as MP Ramzan Bashardost have been using the Web intensively as they had only limited access to the media during the campaign. In this online video, the young candidate presents his manifesto and asks for donations.
 
But the great unknown factor in this election is the voter turnout rate. In order to motivate voters, the Electoral Commission has posted these educational posters online so that net users can print and distribute them.
 
Angry citizens in Peru

In Peru, part of the population is still angry two years after the terrible earthquake that hit the south of the country, killing over 300 people. The reason for their anger is the slow pace of reconstruction and government inaction. A situation widely discussed online.

For this blogger, the problem lies in the fact that authorities keep promising reconstruction but nothing is truly done to improve the plight of the people. And he broadcasts this video which shows that, two years after the earthquake, the situation remains unchanged.

The number of videos like this has exploded on the web in recent weeks. This report available on share sites shows that the town of Pisco, for example, is still in ruins and people live in unacceptable conditions.

And this net user wonders about what was done to aid from the international community to rebuild the country. He recalled that several million dollars were sent to Peru, but despite this, most of the work has not yet been done.

A situation that the population finds increasingly difficult to tolerate. This site created to keep Peruvians informed invites them to join a major regional strike organized on September 8 to force the authorities to react. And a warning that people are at the end of their tolerance, this blogger says that anti-government messages are multiplying on walls in the capital, Lima.

Meanwhile, many video-montages like this one are still circulating to pay tribute to victims of the violent earthquake of August 2007.

Twitter opera

The prestigious Royal Opera House in London has asked Twitter users to write an opera script. Anyone interested is invited to send their contribution to the story to the micro-blogging site . This superb monster is a real success, but adding short phrases little by little has proved more difficult than expected, especially for strange or unrelated contributions.
 
Run pee

"Runpee.com" is a site that lists all films currently showing in America and gives the most suitable moments to run to the toilet. As the creator of the site explains, you not only know when to relieve your bladder, but also what you missed. The idea is such a success that an i-phone version of the site has just been created. It should soon be developed abroad.
 
Video of the day

Here’s the video which is currently attracting great interest from net users. It shows a young artist drawing portraits of Tim Robins and Morgan Freeman at the same time with his two hands. An impressive performance that certain people are suspicious of. These sceptics think that the video is doctored.

Date created : 2009-08-19

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