Voter resgistration picks up speed amid fears
LASHKARGAH (PAN): Residents of southern Helmand province are increasingly taking part in the voter registration campaign for the April 5 presidential and provincial council elections, an official said on Wednesday.
Independent Election Commission (IEC) head for Helmand Abdul Hadi told Pajhwok Afghan News 13,000 individuals in 11 districts of the province had been registered since the registration drive began in late May.
However, Abdul Hadi said insecurity restricted the turnout in northern districts including Kajaki, Musa Qala, Nawzad and Washer. “The process in other towns is going well,” he explained.
He added residents without national identity cards had been issued voter registration cards after their verification by local elders in relatively peaceful areas.
But some residents said they would not be able to cast their votes in great numbers if the security environment remained the same.
A Nad Ali district dweller, Noor Mohammad, said the voter registration process was unerway in centres of towns. Residents feared security threats could undermine the vote, he said. He said most residents lacked national identity cards and thus their inability to apply for voter cards.
A Nawa district resident, Abul Ghaffar, said people in villages were under threat from insurgents and conditions in such areas were not in favour of the elections.
Deputy police chief Brig. Gen. Juma Gul Himmat said security in most districts had improved and would be further strengthened by the Election Day. He insisted people’s cooperation with police was crucial to maintaining security.
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