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IEC slams closure of provincial offices by protestors

IEC slams closure of provincial offices by protestors

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Sep 16, 2018 - 10:56

KABULinfo-icon (Pajhwok): The Independent Election Commission (IECinfo-icon) has slammed the closure of its provincial offices as an act against the law and national interest, urging the government to move against rampaging demonstrators.

On Saturday, protesters under the banner of the Grand Political Alliance of Afghanistaninfo-icon closed IEC offices in Kandahar, Balkh and Herat provinces. They warned of keeping the offices shut until their demands were accepted.

In a statement, the commission said civil and peaceful protests were the right of every citizen, and that the poll panel respected peace demonstrations. However, it added, the protestors should not damage the electoral process.

A number of supporters of political parties and groups threatened to shut the gates of provincial IEC offices to disrupt the election process, the statement alleged.

The IEC said protest organisers would be held responsible for such acts, including the closure of its offices, in future. It called on the government to enforce its legal obligations and ensure the security of the commission’s branches.

The panel reaffirmed its commitment to holding free and transparent elections and paving the way for every citizen to cast his/her vote without any pressure or coercion.

Under Article 156 of the constitution, the IEC shall be established to administer and supervise all kinds of elections as well as refer to the public opinion in accordance with the provisions of the relevant law.

A day earlier, the senior deputy interior minister for security said in a video clip that no one reserved the right to close election offices. The official ordered police to use force, if necessary, in order maintain security of election offices.

Akhtar Mohammad Ibrahimi said the government had come to power with people’s mandate and the masses alone had the right to protest in accordance with the law. He asked political parties and groups to register their complaints through legal means.

On the other hand, presidential spokesman Shah Hussain Murtazawi wrote on his Facebook page that those creating hurdles to the election process were supporters of Talibaninfo-icon.

sa/mud

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