Public meeting wants polls delayed until 2018
Elders, youth and public representatives from all 34 provinces, who participated in a meeting at a hotel in Kabul, called for the delay to ensure credible elections.
Wolesi Jirga member Mullah Tarakhel Mohammadi said the polls be postponed to 2018, given the ongoing wave of violence in the country. “Our demand is aimed at a brilliant future for Afghanistan and unity among its people.”
Another participant from Baghlan province, Mufti Haq Nawaz, told Pajhwok Afghan News a transparent vote was unlikely in a situation where voters could not travel from one province to another.
“Holding polls next year will do the people no good; the dates should be set back,” he said, adding candidates would find it difficult visiting insecure provinces in connection with their campaign.
A resolution passed by the participants called for the elections to be delayed until 2018 in order to make the democratic exercise credible and its outcome acceptable to all people.
Two days ago, former interior minister Mujtaba Patang said 3,410 of the 6,845 polling station across the country were under security threat.
Independent Election Commission (IEC) chief Mohammad Yousuf Nuristani requested security institutions to use all their resources for maintaining security.
Ministry of Interior Ghulam Siddique Siddiqui said election security was an important challenge for relevant institutions. The ministry was duty-bound to ensure foolproof ballot security, he added.
Heading the election security panel, the ministry would work in tandem with other state organs to make sure the polls were held in a secure environment, he promised.
But IEC spokesman Noor Mohammad Noor said that they had made all necessary preparations and would pressure relevant state organs to ensure security for the polls.
“We respect freedom of speech; everyone can express their views. But today’s meeting in Kabul will not cause any delay in elections,” he concluded.
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