323 new places designated as polling sites: IEC
KABUL (Pajhwok): The Independent Election Commission (IEC) has designated 323 new places nationwide as polling stations for the April elections and has sent a list in this regard to security organs, an official said on Monday.
The move would increase by 20 percent the number of polling stations in each province, keeping in view the existing polling centres, with southern Zabul province being prioritised in this regard, IEC spokesman Noor Mohammad Noor told Pajhwok Afghan News.
He said in the previous elections, they observed there had been a long distance between polling centres in Zabul, where more new polling sites had been approved than other provinces.
Noor said the list of new sites had been handed over to security organs so they could come up with security plans.
With no response from security organs as yet, he said the new sites were in secure areas. “We want to increase the number of polling centres in all provinces by 20 percent based on a survey across the country.”
The announcement comes amid concerns 414 polling stations would stay shut in various provinces on the election day.
According to the Ministry of Interior’s election security report, of 6845 polling stations nationwide, security for 414 could not be ensured in 11 provinces.
The IEC says the polling stations to be closed are situated in Badghis, Ghor, Farah, Helmand, Badakhshan, Sar-i-Pul, Parwan, Kapisa, Nuristan, Kunar and Laghman.
With the presidential and provincial council elections 75 days away, IEC officials say 90 percent of sensitive electoral materials such as ballot papers and indelible ink have arrived in Afghanistan from abroad.
Noor said the materials had been brought from the UAE, China and Spain and the remaining 10 percent materials would reach Kabul soon.
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