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10 polling zones to be set up for Kuchis

10 polling zones to be set up for Kuchis

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May 04, 2013 - 18:40

KABULinfo-icon (PANinfo-icon): The Wolesi Jirgainfo-icon on Saturday decided 10 polling zones would be set up for nomadic Kuchis in the next parliamentary elections, a move that drew criticism from some lawmakers.

A draft election law, having 17 chapters and 67 articles, was referred for approval to the Wolesi Jirga -- or lower house of parliament -- in December 2012.

Clause 6 of Article 7 proposes Kuchiinfo-icon across the country be allowed to vote for their candidates anywhere in Afghanistaninfo-icon. But the assembly rejected the proposal. Legislative Commission head Qazi Ahmad Hanafi said there would be 10 polling zones for Kuchis.

But a public representative from Kuchis, Mullahinfo-icon Tarakhel Mohammadi, said all Kuchis be allowed to vote anywhere in the country.

Moving from one province to another would create several security problems for them, he argued. “Kuchis change their places in summers and winters; they could not move for casting votes,” he added.

Another Kuchi lawmaker, Haidar Naeemzai, slammed the Wolesi Jirga decision as discriminatory. He hoped the Senate and President Hamid Karzai would reject the move.

Nearly 40 MPs walked out of the session in protest, saying the decision was unfair.

The house nixed a proposal allowing the apex court to investigate electoral complaints. Lawmakers insisted the Electoral Complaints Commission should probe fraud allegations.

myn/mud

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