65 Voter Registration Centers Remain Closed Due To Threats

The Independent Election Commission’s (IEC) officials on Monday said that 65 voter registration centers out of the total 458 centers in 33 provinces have remained closed due to security threats and absence of election materials.

According to IEC, in Ghazni, election materials have been delivered only to Jaghori and Malistan districts.

“We have to supply materials to 74 districts from the air and it takes time because there is a problem and flights cannot be conducted there on time. For instance, one of the areas is Sherzad district in Nangarhar where we made four attempts in one day to transfer the material, but we were not succeeded. It was decided to send it today so that registration can start,” said Habiburrahman Nang, head of the IEC secretariat.

This comes after a member of IEC on Sunday confirmed shortcoming in public awareness campaign ahead of September presidential elections in Afghanistan, saying that the “inattention” could be a major defect.

Sources have said that at least $23 million has been allocated for public awareness campaign on elections.

Reports indicate that public interest in registering their names has been delicate three days after the election management body officially launched the process.

“It is a supportive registration process. Those whose identity cards have no stickers, we past stickers on it and those who have completed the age of 18 can register their names,” said Samim, an IEC voter registration officer in Kabul.

Elections observers said the problem is rooted in the “poor leadership” of the election management body which is already under public scrutiny in the wake of last year’s parliamentary elections marred by serious allegations of fraud and poll irregularities.

Observers accused the IEC of engaging in political bargaining and mismanagement in the process.

According to IEC, more than nine million people have registered last year for the parliamentary elections and the commission expects that two million more people will register their names ahead of September presidential elections.

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