Opposition warns poll rigging to fuel instability
MAZAR-I-SHARIF (PAN): A key opposition alliance on Sunday warned next year's presidential elections would not be transparent if the government clung to its anti-democratic approach to a proposed poll law.
National Coalition of Afghanistan spokesman Fazal Rahman Orya told a gathering in Mazar-i-Sharif, the capital of northern Balkh province, the biggest hurdle to the elections was the government’s anti-democratic approach to the draft law.
"The government is trying to conduct the upcoming elections under the old electoral law in an effort to pave the way for a pro-Karzai candidate reaching the Presidential Palace," he alleged.
Led by Dr. Abdullah Abdullah, the party has launched efforts to foil conspiracies against democracy, he said, calling for invalidation of old voter cards and fresh voter registration across the country.
He feared neighbouring countries might interfere in the elections to push for the victory of candidates of their choice.
Azizullah Rafi, head of the Afghanistan Civil Society Forum, told Pajhwok Afghan News the gathering conferred on security measures for the elections, the influence of powerful figures and the role of media and civil society.
He said the participants also discussed how to improve people's awareness about elections and strengthen their political will, besides.
Also present at the gathering was NAI chief Sadiqullah Tawhidi, who said the Afghans wanted an effective and strong government. The government’s failure to conduct a transparent vote would result in an unstable set-up, he warned.
He acknowledged the media had a key role to play in the elections, including encouraging people to cast votes and introduce candidates to the masses.
Civil society activist Asadullah Walwalji accused the government of destabilising some areas in order to sabotage the elections and pave the ground for President Karzai to stay in office.
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