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Ghaznis demand delimitation exercise ahead of polls

Ghaznis demand delimitation exercise ahead of polls

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May 05, 2018 - 19:21

KABULinfo-icon (Pajhwok): Residents of southern Ghazni province on Saturday demanded the government launch delimitation exercise in districts ahead of the Oct 20 district council elections besides making required preparations for the polls.

The residents also said the Independent Election Commission (IECinfo-icon) should designate polling stations in Ghazni line with the provincial’s population.

The people warned of boycotting the elections and not allowing anyone to participate in the democratic process if their demands were not accepted.

Tribal elders, civil societyinfo-icon activists and youth numbering 60 from various parts of Ghazni addressed a joint press conference here.

A fortnight ago, Ghazni residents locked down the Independent Election Commission (IEC)’s commission’s provincial office and erected a protest tent.

Holding elections after delimitation, not attaching stickers to voters’ ID cards, reemploying IEC’s provincial committee’s staff and reopening polling stations were demands of the protestors.

Mualvi Rahmatullah Andar, an Islamic scholar, told the press conference, that lawmakers from Ghazni had been imposed on people and they belonged to a single tribe.

 “We are not racists but those sitting in the parliament are imposed on us and they do not know our problems, they violate our rights instead of serving us,” he said.

Citing an example, Andar said: “The government approved 75 development projects for Ghazni this fiscal year and reserved only 14 to as many districts while the rest of the other projects are given to four districts which have representatives in the Wolesi Jirgainfo-icon.”

A civil society activist from Ghazni, Inayatullah Naseri, also said only four people from as many districts out of Ghazi’s 18 tows represented the whole province in the parliament.

He said Giro and Zana Khan districts, each having more 18,000 population, have been provided only one polling station.

The IEC’s provincial committee has employed 400 people for election affairs but only 25 of them are from Pashtuninfo-icon tribe, 10 from Tajik and the rest are from Hazara tribe, he said.

On May 2, Governor Abdul Karim Matin agreed with people’s demands and assured them of positive response.

The governor also opposed the attachment of stickers on voters’ ID cards and said 60 percent of people in Ghazni had no ID cards while 80 percent others were against the sticker due to security problems.

Pajhwok tried to contact the IEC for comment about the issue, but failed.

Ghazni is an unstable province where parts of many districts are under Talibaninfo-icon influence. Nawa district has been under the militants control from the past 14 years.

mds/ma

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