2nd phase of voter registration drive begins
KABUL (PAN): The Independent Election Commission (IEC) on Saturday announced the launch of the second phase of the voter registration campaign at district and village levels, ahead of the April 5 presidential and provincial council election.
IEC chief Fazl Ahmad Manawi told reporters in Kabul the campaign would continue as scheduled, with 375 centres established in districts and police districts in big cities as part of the second round. The process would end two weeks ahead of the elections, he added.
The first phase, which started in May, was conducted at the provincial level through 41 voter registration centres established across the country.
However, Manawi said equipment required for voter registration could not be dispatched to 14 districts for multiple reasons, saying the issue would be resolved in a couple of days.
Such materials could not be sent to Desho and Baghran districts of southern Helmand, Khak-i-Afghan district of Zabul and Nawa district of Ghazni due to security reasons, he explained.
He said each voter registration centre had been divided into two parts – one for women and one for men, saying the number of centres could be increased or reduced when necessary.
Manawi said more than 131,000 people were registered during the first phase. They included 30,000 women and 960 Kuchi tribesmen, he said, adding the election commission was determined to register four million people.
He also said there was a big difference between old and new ID cards, saying the computerised cards had made it difficult to commit forgery.
On overseas Afghans, Manawi said the Afghan government could not afford to make arrangements for Afghans living in 70 countries to cast their votes.
He said such arrangements were possible only when host countries and the international community provided financial assistance to Afghanistan.
He also said security organs were expected to share their plans with the election commission over the next week. He believed security organs had the ability to provide security during elections across the country.
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