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Past mistakes won’t be repeated: Amarkhel

Past mistakes won’t be repeated: Amarkhel

Jan 02, 2014 - 16:18

KABULinfo-icon (PANinfo-icon): Calling this year’s presidential polls crucial to shaping Afghanistaninfo-icon’s destiny, the electoral body on Thursday said the April vote would be inclusive and transparent.

The elections would decide the future of the country and all Afghans should take part in the national process, Independent Election Commission (IECinfo-icon) Secretary Ziaul Haq Amarkhel told a gathering in Kabul.

Arranged by the Civil Societyinfo-icon Network for Strengthening the Election Process, the gathering stressed the authorities’ neutrality and transparency in holding the polls.

Amarkhel said the upcoming elections would be fairer than past votes, keeping in view the level of awareness among people, increased cooperation between civil society and IEC and improved ability of local forces.

“Looking at these improvements, we can say the next elections will be more transparent and better than the previous ones because we will avoid past mistakes this time around,” Amarkhel assured.

He urged religious scholars to highlight the importance of elections in their sermons and encourage people to participate in the process. Amarkhel said irregularities during the previous elections had been committed in areas where observers and journalists failed to reach due to security concerns.

“Security organs are trying to maintain better security this time to allow election observers to reach all areas,” he said. Civil society and candidates should send their representatives to all areas for monitoring the process.

The IEC planned to launch a nationwide awareness-creating programme on the elections few days later, he announced, saying 15000 preachers, including media representatives, would be involved in the campaign.

Amarkhel said the commission alone could not make the elections a success if it lacked support from the government and the masses. He asked the government to prevent governors and police commanders from interfering into the process.

He said 80 percent logistics and technical affairs had been completed and efforts were ongoing to complete the remaining 20 percent. According to him, 3.4 million people have been issued voter cards, with womeninfo-icon constituting 35 percent of them.




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