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Free, fair polls is government’s responsibility: Senate

Free, fair polls is government’s responsibility: Senate

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Sep 16, 2018 - 17:01

KABULinfo-icon (Pajhwok): Some Meshrano Jirgainfo-icon or Senate members on Sunday joined the Independent Election Commission (IECinfo-icon) and the Ministry of Interior in lashing out at protestors for closing IEC provincial offices.

The senators said if the government could not introduce the biometric system ahead of the election day, it should satisfy political parties.

Supporters of the Coalition for Salvation of Afghanistan on Saturday closed the provincial Independent Election Commission (IEC) offices in Kandahar, Balkh and Herat provinces.

Their demands include allowing representatives of political parties to monitor the conduct of elections, changing the current Single None-Transferrable Vote (SNTV) system to a transferable vote system and a fresh voter registration through biometric system

Yesterday, a senior Ministry of Interior official ordered the police to use force if necessary in maintaining security of election offices.

Senior deputy interior minister for security Akhtar Mohammad Ibrahimi in a video clip said no one has the right to close election offices.

Addressing reporters in Kabul on Sunday, IEC head Abdul Badai Sayyad said closing IEC offices was a wrong culture and was unacceptable.

He said the closure of IEC offices meant the perpetrators wanted the elections to be delayed.

He said the induction of the biometric system was not possible in the time available till the election date, adding change in the election system was a shared responsibility of the government and Parliament.

The top electoral official, however, said the election commission was interested in political parties’ participation in the election process.

Referring to the closure of IEC offices, he said: “The government leadership has directed governors and district chiefs to stop powerful individuals from meddling in the election process.”

Meanwhile, some lawmakers demanded transparency in the election process and asked the government to stop possible rigging and fraud.

Lotfullah Baba, a lawmaker from Nangarhar province, said the government should stop individuals and groups operating under different names from sabotaging the election process.

Senate Chairman Fazal Hadi Muslimyar said the conduct of free and fair election was responsibility of the government. He asked the government to satisfy protesters if introduction of the biometric system was not possible in the stipulated time.

nh/ma

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