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Senators underline effective poll security

Senators underline effective poll security

Jan 07, 2014 - 15:12

KABULinfo-icon (Pajhwok): Concerned at the current situation, a number of senators on Tuesday called for effective measures to ensure security for the April presidential and provincial council elections.

Participating in a Meshrano Jirgainfo-icon debate on the subject, a lawmaker from western Farah province underlined the need for a satisfactory security environmentinfo-icon in the build-up to and during the polls.

Gul Ahmad Azimi believed foreigners could help Afghanistaninfo-icon reinforce security for the vote. He also urged the Karzai administration to sign the Bilateral Security Agreement (BSA) with the US.

Afghan forces should devise election security plans right away, he suggested, arguing: “Tight security on one particular day won’t help. The elections must also be transparent and inclusive.”

Gulalai Akbari, a woman legislator from the remote northeastern province of Badakhshan, complained the security situation in many districts was deteriorating. People would not be able to cast their votes if remedial steps were not taken, she warned.

“It’ll be equally difficult for candidates and voters to take part in the election process in the absence of a secure environment,” she said, asking the security personnel to create the right conditions.

Khaliqdad Balaghi, a senator from Kabul, also questioned the way security was being maintained. “None of candidates can meet people without fear to inform them of their election manifestos.” He said security officials should brief the assembly on their election strategy as soon as possible. 

But his colleague from central Kapisa province, Maulviinfo-icon Mohiuddin Munsif said the government alone could not provide security. People and religious scholars should support the government in this regard, he added.

Mohammad Amin Sapi, a senator from eastern Kunar province, said election should be definitely conducted in the country because everyone was looking forward to them.

Besides militants, neighboring countries were also trying to disrupt security in the country to pave the ground for interferences.  A number of other members also voiced concerns about election security.

The Ministry of Interior had said on October 29 that 3, 435 of the 6,845 polling stations had normal security, 945 faced low-level threats, 10, 74 mid-level and 1, 132 high. Based on the report, 259 polling centres are under the armed opponents’ control. 

Chairman Fazal Hadi Muslimyar accused security forces of making exaggerated claims. He said they should be pressurised to measure up to the security challenge.

Elections on schedule represented the only way of a peaceful transfer of power, he observed, hoping the requisite preparations would be made by all state institutions concerned.




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