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300,000 observers to monitor presidential vote

300,000 observers to monitor presidential vote

Jan 04, 2014 - 16:30

KABULinfo-icon (Pajhwok): The Independent Election Commission (IECinfo-icon) announced on Saturday that up to 300,000 national and international observers would monitor the April presidential polls.   

Addressing a youth gathering in Kabul, IEC spokesperson Noor Mohammad Noor promised all interested civil societyinfo-icon groups would be afforded the opportunity to observe the polling process.     

One condition for IEC authorisation was that the observer group/individual had to be registered with the Justice/Economy Ministry, Noor said, adding 1,400 representatives of 120 local and international entities had already been listed by panel.       

The commission has sent invitations to international observers from the European Union and South Asia Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARCinfo-icon) countries.

Calling the role of youth in watching the elections vital, Noor asked them to cooperate with IEC in this respect. Of the estimated 12 million eligible voters, 70 percent are youth.  

Khat-i-Naw -- a civil society organisation -- announced it will introduce 2,000 observers to IEC. Fahim Siddiqui, the group’s head, said: “We have prepared over 2,000 youth from four zones to observe the election process.”   

Hajira Mohammadi, a member of the organisation, said their observation of the process would improve transparency of the election. Youth have joined hands to watch the election and reduce violence.  

Naeem Ayubzada, the Transparent Election Foundation of Afghanistaninfo-icon (TEFA) chief, said civil society held key to success of the democratic process in case if it acted professionally.   

“Observing an election doesn’t mean taking authorisation to participate in the process. Observation without proper training is no simple job,” he remarked, stressing trained professionals should be assigned the task.



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