Afghan political parties reject old voting cards for next poll
KABUL (PAN): The Cooperation Council of Political Parties on Monday cautioned that voting cards used in the last poll should not be used in the forthcoming presidential election as it would result in widespread electoral fraud.
At a news conference in Kabul, Shah Wali Karimzai, head of the Truth Party, an associate of the strong 21-member council, read out the their declaration relating to the upcoming presidential election.
The declaration urged the government to resolve their concerns about election transparency and prevent the use of old voting cards -- fearing it would stir up rampant malpractice as in the past elections.
Last month, the Free and Fair Election Foundation of Afghanistan said the issuance of voters identity cards to minors, awarding multiple cards to one person and giving women’s cards to their men were serious concerns plaguing Afghan electoral process.
The council also asked the international community and United Nations to help fund the Independent Election Commission in registering voters before the polls.
In the declaration, the council said there was adequate time for the government to train staff to issue electronic identity cards to the voters.
“If they want the process could be completed within a year if the government issues 100 electronic identity cards on a daily basis in 365 districts and 200 municipality districts of the county,” pointed out the council.
Earlier, the Ministry of Telecommunication and Information Technology said they have completed the technical details of the electronic identity cards and distribution would begin in January 2013.
Another participant, Asadullah Saadati said the present voting method resulted in wasting votes and it curbs political party's role in the government.
Saadati said there was a need for a mixed voting system in the country that would help facilitate 50 percent seats to political parties and the balance to independent candidates.
Currently, the mixed voting system is being implemented in countries such as Japan, Germany and 31 other development countries, he said.
According to the council, a transparent election could strengthen the government to garner people’s support and resolve the ongoing unrest in the country.
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