No observers in Parchaman district so far
FARAH CITY (Pajhwok): Some provincial council (PC) candidates on Thursday complained their observers had been unable so far to travel to the Parchaman district of western Farah province due to highway security threat.
They feared the elections slated for Saturday could be rigged if observers failed to reach the town, accusing security forces of not extending any cooperation to them in this regard. The candidates insisted the town was not insecure, but the road leading to it had security problems.
One of the runners was Dadullah Qane, who accused the Parchaman district chief, Mohammad Duad Mubarez, of pressurising local residents into voting for candidates of his choice.
He told Pajhwok Afghan News provincial council candidates had approached the provincial police headquarters seeking help in sending observers to the town, but failed to elicit any positive response. He said widespread fraud was expected in the absence of observers.
During the last parliamentary elections, votes at 33 polling centres in Parchaman were thrown out due to widespread allegations of fraud.
Another provincial council candidate, Jamila, alleged votes in the Parchaman district, where 45,000 eligible voters exist, had been bought.
Candidate Mohammad Anwar Sadat said he was among 25 out of the total 35 candidates in Farah having similar objections.
Without naming anyone, he said the remaining five runners would not object because they had cut deals with the district chief.
Pajhwok failed to establish contact with the district chief because mobile phones do not work in the town.
Farah police chief Brig. Gen. Mohammad Raziq Yaqubi said election observers had reached all districts, except Parchaman. He said no candidate had sought assistance from the police headquarters in sending observers to Parchaman.
However, he said they lacked resources to facilitate the travel of election observers to the district because the road leading to it was insecure and they had no helicopter to airlift them.
The police chief said there were no security problems in Parchaman, where election materials had been sent by the air and hoped the elections there would be transparent.
Independent Election Commission (IEC) head in Farah, Mirwais Azizi, said it was the job of security organs to facilitate election observers in their journey to districts.
He said they had not been consulted if election observers of other organisations had travelled to Parchaman, where he said all preparations for the elections had been completed in 35 polling centres comprising 77 polling stations.
Parchaman is 360 kilometres from Farah City through one route and 225km through another route.
Download “Pajhwok” mobile App, on your smartphone to read and access latest news, features, interviews, videos and photos about Afghanistan.