Runoff will be more challenging: Daudzai
KABUL (Pajhwok): The minister of interior on Thursday said the second round of presidential polls would be more challenging, claiming foreign militants had sneaked into Afghanistan to disrupt the process.
At a news conference in Kabul, Mohammad Omar Daudzai said the first round of elections on April 5 was held in a peaceful environment despite challenges. But holding the runoff vote would be more challenging, he added.
An ex-ambassador, Daudzai said armed rebels went to their hideouts across the border in the winter. Trained and equipped there, they returned in the summer season. The Taliban’s anti-government operations have escalated with the approach of the spring.
He acknowledged: “Rebel attacks have increased, as many foreign fighters have infiltrated into the country to disrupt the election process. But people should know that they (insurgents) cannot sabotage the process.”
Daudzai added people intended to elect their next president by demonstrating their interest in the form of a massive turnout in the first round of polls, with security forces warding off insurgent threats.
The minister said provincial officials had pledged not to spare any effort to ensure security and foil fraud attempts. Weaknesses and strengths of security forces, especially police, came up for discussion at a recent meeting, he recalled.
According to Daudzai, 748 polling centres remained closed in the previous polls and 205 more centres had been added to the list on election day. Most of closed sites had weather and security problems.
A joint security team would start its assessment next week to ascertain how many polling centres would open on the voting day, he explained.
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