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Many Nuristanis may not get voter cards

Many Nuristanis may not get voter cards

Jul 19, 2013 - 15:33

JALALABAD (PANinfo-icon): Not even three percent of residents have access to voter registration centres in the far-flung eastern province of Nuristan, a public representative said on Friday.

In an exclusive interview with Pajhwok Afghan News, provincial council head, Inayatur Rahman Mazhabyar, said only voter registration centre was operational in Nuristan.

Geographically, the province has been distributed into three parts: eastern, central and western Nuristan. The only registration site located in central Nuristan was accessible for no more than three percent of residents, he insisted.

“It’s a very important process in the build-up to next year’s polls; the Independent Election Commission (IECinfo-icon) must see to it that all eligible people were issued voter cards,” the public representatives stressed. 

Mazhabyar explained only government servants, including security personnel, could reach the voter registration centre in the Pashaki area of Paron -- the provincial capital. The facility can’t be accessed even by Want Waigal residents.

If effective awareness campaigns were not conducted, many Nuristanis could be left out of the electoral process, the official warned. “Religious scholars, who are widely respected by the masses, be involved in awareness programmes,” he suggested.

Local IEC staffers were unable to come out of their office, complained the provincial council head, who identified insecurity as the greatest challenge to the electoral process. The law and order situation in the province had been a lingering problem, he maintained.

Some individuals who planned to contest the elections were busy getting illegal voter registration cards that could be used on Election Day, he alleged, calling for effective measures well in time to prevent possible fraud.

His deputy, Amanullah Inayatur Rahman, verified the problems. He particularly stressed the need for sustained focus on dealing with the security challenge. Additionally, the media has a weak presence in the province.

“I visit remote districts on a daily basis, but other officials aren’t familiar with people’s problems,” said Amanullah, who urged the poll panel to set up three voter registration centres in the province on a priority basis.



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