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Govt set week-long deadline over Ghazni IEC office

Govt set week-long deadline over Ghazni IEC office

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Jun 24, 2018 - 16:09

KABULinfo-icon (Pajhwok): Civil societyinfo-icon activists and residents of southern Ghazni province on Sunday demanded reopening of the Independent Election Commission (IECinfo-icon) branch and warned of protests if their demand went unheard.

A number of residents of Ghazni province have erected a protest tent in front of the IEC office in Ghazni City and have not been allowing election officials to work over the past two months.

The protestors say most of residents of districts of Ghazni province had been unable to cast their votes in past elections due to security problems.

No one has so far registered as voter in districts for the upcoming Wolesi Jirgainfo-icon and district council elections due to the closure of the IEC office.

Two phases of the voter registration process have been completed in provincial capitals and district centers and the third phase in urban areas is due to end on July 6.

In past elections, each province was considered one electoral constituency for the Wolesi Jirga polls, but this time in Ghazni province some people have been demanding division of the province in several constituencies.

The protesting people say they have not yet registered as voters and have closed the IEC gate over the past two months.

However, on Sunday around 20 civil society activists from Ghazni province held a press conference in Kabul about the IEC office closure in their province. They urged the government to find a solution to the problem in order to reopen the IEC branch there.

Juma Khan Puya, a civil society activist, disagreed with creation of constituencies in Ghazni, saying Ghazni was part of Afghanistaninfo-icon and should be treated like other provinces.

He said it was every Afghan’s right to participate in elections and facilitating voters was the IEC’s job.

Malika Qasimi, another civil society activist, expressed similar views and asked the IEC to independently act and reopen the IEC office in Ghazni.

In their declaration letter, the activists accused some political figures of being behind the impasse.

The declaration read: “We civil society activists give the National Unity Government (NUG) one week time from today (Sunday) to resolve the issue as early as possible.”

Earlier, IEC officials had said the government would resolve the issue in two days, but it did not happen.

pk/ma

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