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Civil society highlights hurdles to polls

Civil society highlights hurdles to polls

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Nov 05, 2013 - 19:23

KABULinfo-icon (PANinfo-icon): Civil societyinfo-icon groups on Tuesday identified insecurity, a weak electoral body, fraud and people’s lukewarm participation in the voter registration drive as main challenges to next year’s landmark elections.

The April 5 presidential and provincial council elections are to take place at a time international soldiers are preparing to leave the country, sparking security concerns.

More than 120 civil society activists, coming all the way from 14 provinces, held a gathering on “How we can make the elections a success” in Kabul to voice their concerns at issues which could hamper the upcoming polls.

They said government’s failure to properly monitor the elections and prevent powerful warlords from hijacking the process was another problem contributing to the hurdles in the way of an inclusive and free ballot.

They believed ethnic consideration could spark election-related violence across the country, asking the authorities to prevent possible irregularities.

Rejecting any attempt at committing fraud in the elections as unacceptable, the activists said civil society groups could play a vital role in reducing the level of irregularities in the polls.

They urged the government not to allow warlords to meddle in the election process so that the electoral bodies could properly monitor every phases of the process, including vote count.

They also made an appeal to the insurgents to avoid interfering in the elections and allow people to actively participate in the landmark vote.

mrh/ma

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