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Insecurity, conflict key hurdles to elections: Survey

Insecurity, conflict key hurdles to elections: Survey

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Mar 05, 2018 - 23:58

KABULinfo-icon (Pajhwok): A majority of Wolesi Jirgainfo-icon members have cited insecurity and conflict as among biggest obstacles to the conduct of upcoming parliamentary elections in a survey released on Monday.

One-third members of the lower house representing 29 provinces (75 percent of them womeninfo-icon) were interviewed in the survey conducted by the Free and Fair Election Federation of Afghanistaninfo-icon (FEFA) between November and December last year.

Most of the parliamentarians interviewed disagreed with the use of old voter cards and expressed their disappointment with the election commission’s performance.

Nearly half of those surveyed believed the government was interfering in the election commission’s affairs.

FEFA member Eng. Mohammad Naeem Asghar told reporters in Kabul that 54 percent of the interviewees termed insecurity, continuation of the conflict as major challenges to holding the elections.

He said 44 percent termed as a huge concern what they believed ‘dependent status’ of the IECinfo-icon.

The MPs cited administrative weakness, externalinfo-icon interference in IEC affairs, barriers to the voter registration, the strategy of shrinking electoral constituencies and non-implementation of biometric system as other huge concerns.

Thirty-five percent of the MPs believed the upcoming elections would not take place on the given date and only ten percent said the ballots would take place on schedule.

The IEC has announced July 18 the date to hold the long-delayed parliamentary and district council elections.

In the survey, 28 percent MPs believed the Wolesi Jirga and next year Presidential Election would be held simultaneously. Nine percent said parliamentary elections would be held after the Presidential Election while 10 percent said the Wolesi Jirga and district council elections would be held on its due date.

Ninety-five percent of the lawmakers disagreed with the use of old voter’s registration cards and only five percent supported their use.

FEFA asked the government to pay respect to the decisions of the election commission and clarify the issue of shrinking the electoral constituencies.

Nh/ma

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