Kuchis demand mobile voter registration teams
They warned 95 percent of nomadic families could be deprived of getting voter cards if mobile registration services were not provided for them.
The tribesmen, who live in nine of the province 14 districts, said voter registration centres were located away from them and they could not travel long distances to get the cards.
Ghopi, a Kuchi from Kushanda district, said most nomadic families lived in mountainous areas where they had pastures, while voter registration centres had been in plain areas.
He said they reached the district centre on foot in six hours because there were no transportation services. If the government did not send them mobile registreation teams, most of Kuchis would be deprived of the cards, he said.
Another Kuchi tribesman in the Bargah area of Chamtal district, Mir Alam, said the nomads could not easily leave their areas because of their life style.
He said currently most Kuchi tribesmen were busy grazing their flocks in mountains and they would not ascend to plain areas.
He said they were interested in obtaining the voter cards but could not travel to the district centre leaving behind their animals.
Mir Alam said if the government wanted Kuchis to take part in the elections, it had to provide them with voter cards.
A Kuchi affairs official Mohammad Farooq said 24,000 nomadic families, comprising 140,000 individuals lived in nine districts of Balk.
He said the elections were a national process and the nomads should not be ignored. He said if mobile teams were not dispatched to Kuchi tribesmen, a majority of them would be left out.
Independent Election Commission chief for Balkh, Ajmal Ahadi, said his office had officially been shared the issue of nomads and a letter had been sent to the main election office in Kabul.
He said the provincial election office lacked the authority to take a decision on its own in this regard and awaited a response from the main office in Kabul.
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