70m ballot papers to be printed in Dubai
The ballot papers, expected to be flown to Kabul from Dubai next month, would be dispatched to provinces a week ahead of the voting day, said Noor Mohammad Noor, the IEC spokesman.
In an exclusive interview with Pajhwok Afghan News, Noor said the design of the papers had been completed and the IEC had started working with the UAE printing firm.
Noor added the commission had decided to print more than 13 million ballot papers for the presidential elections and 55 million for the provincial council vote.
Without giving the printing press name or cost of the papers, he said the election materials would be flown to Kabul in early January.
“The papers will be brought from the UAE on January 5. We consider giving a special number to each district and after that we transfer the papers (to districts) about a week before the voting day.”
Noor had earlier told Pajhwok Afghan News that the papers would be printed by a trustable printing company in order to prevent them from falling into the hands of irresponsible individuals.
He said the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), which has been financial assisting the election project, had declared the UAE firm as successful in the bidding process held in this regard.
Noor said names of all presidential candidates had been designed in one paper and the number of provincial candidates in one paper would be 60.
Nearly a dozen people are in the run for presidency and more than 2,700 individuals contest on the provincial council seats.
The printing of ballot papers is offered to a foreign firm amid claims that local firms are fully capable and poised to print papers of international standards.
Afghanistan Industrialist Union chief Abdul Jabbar Sapi said the IEC’s decision to print the ballot papers abroad had saddened local printing press owners.
He said domestic printing firms had sophisticated machines and could guarantee protection of ballot papers as well.
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