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IEC employees in Paktia protest against pending salaries

IEC employees in Paktia protest against pending salaries

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Aug 08, 2018 - 18:10

GARDEZ (Pajhwok): Dozens of Independent Election Commission (IECinfo-icon) workers on Wednesday staged a protest demonstration in southeastern Paktia province over nonpayment of their salaries for up to six months.

They protested in front of the IEC office in Gardez, the provincial capital, complaining that around 800 IEC workers from Gardez and districts were yet to be paid their monthly salaries. They warned to continue their protest until their salaries were paid.

Haji Mohammad Ahmadzai, one of the striking officials, told Pajhwok Afghan News that he had been working with the IEC for the past three months but his salaries remained pending. He said it was due to negligence and corruption in the IEC that they did not receive their salaries.

“I worked for three months and two months more have gone since that but I still have not received my salaries. Incompetence and corruption in the IEC are reasons behind the nonpayment of our salaries,” he said.

Noor Wali, another protestor, said their salaries should be paid at the end of every month according to their contract. He said some commission workers were regularly paid their salaries but many went unpaid.

“Whenever we refer to the IEC for our salaries, the officials there tell us we should visit the relevant section and when we go there they tell us the salaries are withheld due to investigation in corruption,” he added.

Wazir, a former worker, said the commission paid salaries to its workers in other provinces, but delayed the payment from one to another day in Paktia only.

He warned to continue their protest if their salaries were not paid and shut the IEC office.

“We are running into  debt, we have to pay the cost of hotels and transport, we have repeatedly visited the IEC about our salaries and today we gathered to tell the commission that if does not pay our salaries, we will stage protests,” he added.

Public relations and awareness in-charge at the IEC office in Paktia, Sher Ali Faizi, confirmed salaries of around 800 workers had not been paid for the last few months, but said the issue had been shared with the relevant organization.

He rejected corruption in the IEC and said salaries of commission’s workers in other provinces were paid and their workers in Paktia would also receive their salaries in near future.

“Based on the agreement between the government and the international community, the UNDP pays 90 percent of budget of the elections and the government pays 10 percent, the government pays its share on time but unfortunately the UNDP has delayed its part, we have shared the problem with the UNDP and IEC’s central office,” he concluded.

mds/ma

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