Khost residents fear fraud in April vote
KHOST CITY (PAN): Religious scholars, tribal elders and civil society activists on Monday asked the government and the Fair and Free Election Foundation of Afghanistan (FFEFA) to take realistic measures for transparent polls.
The call came at a gathering attended by a large number of scholars, tribal elders and civil society activists at the Tribal Solidarity Council office in Khost City, the capital of southeastern Khost province.
Ghazni Nawaz Tanai, the council chairman, in his address to the gathering said he was deeply concerned about possible widespread irregularities in April 5 presidential and provincial council elections.
He warned that if the security situation remained unchanged, the elections would not be inclusive as desired by the people of Afghanistan. Tanai was confident Afghan forces would have no difficulty in maintaining security after the withdrawal of foreign troops.
He said the Afghan forces had been strengthened enough and coordination among them had improved. He believed public support for their security forces had lately increased.
Tribal elder Ahmad Gul said they were in favour of foreign troops’ withdrawal, calling it a key public demand. He acknowledged some challenges remained, but Afghan forces had the ability to maintain security on their own.
A tribal elder from Musakhel district, Haji Hamim Mangal, said he was concerned irregularities and fraud could mar the April vote. He urged residents to support a presidential candidate who had the ability to serve the country.
At the end, the gathering issued a statement that called for the elections to be free of fraud. It urged Afghans to support their security forces in performing their job.
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