Badakhshan governor wants polls delayed
FAIZABAD (PAN): Badakhshan Governor Dr Shah Wali Adib has said the election date set for April 5 is not a proper time because most people in the northeastern province will be unable to reach polling stations due to heavy snows.
In an exclusive interview with Pajhwok Afghan News, Adib said most Badakhshan residents had been issued with voter cards and they were interested in participating in the presidential and provincial elections.
But he was concerned that heavy snowfall that continued until spring could create problems such as road blockades. He asked the Independent Election Commission (IEC) and the government to reschedule the election.
The governor suggested the government should push back the voting date until the warm season began so that all voters could participate.
“It is not only Badakhshan, where bad weather can threaten to exclude groups of voters, but Bamyan, Ghor, Daikundi and all cold areas would have the same problem,” he said, calling June the most appropriate time to hold the elections.
Badakhshan is a mountainous and impassable province, where heavy snowing cut off 16 districts from the capital Faizabad from October to July.
Two weeks ago, some Meshrano Jirga members also asked the government to delay the elections until the end of winter because most residents in cold provinces including Badakhshan would be deprived of their right to vote.
But the IEC has said the elections would be held in line with the constitution and the electoral law, denying any change to the timetable.
The IEC has declared 4 million people as eligible voters, including more than three million people, 34 percent of them women, who have been issued voter cards during the still ongoing registration drive, which would end two weeks ahead of the voting day.
Download “Pajhwok” mobile App, on your smartphone to read and access latest news, features, interviews, videos and photos about Afghanistan.