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Kandahar candidates fear biometrics may not prevent rigging

Kandahar candidates fear biometrics may not prevent rigging

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Oct 14, 2018 - 17:15

KANDAHAR CITY (Pajhwok): Some Wolesi Jirgainfo-icon candidates from southern Kandahar province say they are concerned about the conduct of the upcoming elections and raised questions about the vote’s transparency.

The candidates attended a joint meeting with Independent Election Commission (IECinfo-icon) officials at the Provincial Council building in Kandahar City on Tuesday.

Provincial Council head Syed Jan Khakrezwal said candidates were invited to the huddle to answer their questions regarding the upcoming elections.

He said the candidates were concerned about the use of biometric system and transparency in the upcoming polls.

Wolesi Jirga candidate Syed Ahmad Selab said they had received information that the biometric devices only worked offline which could not prevent rigging.

“Another problem in the biometric system is that the data will be transferred to Kabulinfo-icon to separate transparent and fraud vote and this could create chance for widespread rigging.”

Selab said the use of biometrics could waste time which could deprive many voters of casting their votes.

Another candidate from Kandahar Hameedzai Lalai expressed similar views and said the biometric system had been imported from China instead of Germany.

He said the biometric system was 2004 model instead of 2010 model and it worked offline.

He said the biometric system could not prevent overall rigging and could only stop repetition of vote.

Woman candidate Fareba Ahmadi Kakar said most of the residents in districts had registered as voters in Kandahar City but according to the election commission’s decision, individuals could cast their votes in polling stations where they had registered as voters.

She said if transport was not made available on the Election Day, only 200,000 registered voters out of total 580,000 would be able to cast their votes.

Some other candidates also expressed their concerns and demanded their questions to be answered.

The Independent Election Commission (IEC) sent an expert to the meeting to answer candidates’ questions.

The trainer said the biometric tools would be available in every polling station where voters would be registered for casing his/her vote.

He said the biometric tools would be then transferred to Kabul where repeated votes and fraud votes could be identified.

Dr. Niamatullah Wardak, IEC head for Kandahar province, said they were fully prepared for the conduct of the elections.

In Kandahar, he said, 173 polling centers would be opened out of total 225 polling centers. Every poling center has polling stations equipped with biometric devices, he added.

He said besides other needed logistics, the biometric devices had also arrived in the province and necessary training provided to its users.

In Kandahar, 112 candidates including 12 womeninfo-icon have been contesting the October 20 polls.

nh/ma

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