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Zabul residents demand increase in number of polling stations

Zabul residents demand increase in number of polling stations

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On
Jan 19, 2019 - 19:51

QALAT (Pajhwok): The residents of southern Zabul province have demanded the Independent Election Commission (IECinfo-icon) and the government to increase the number of polling stations in the province in order to facilitate all people to exercise the right of vote in upcoming presidential election.

According to the residents, polling stations established in the recent elections were not enough and people could not access them or in most of the districts there were one or two polling stations.

Although, the IEC registered 75,000 people for the Wolesi Jirgainfo-icon election in Zabul, but only 14,000 people voted and the main reason of the low turnout was the lack of polling stations.

Faiz Mohammad Ahmadzai, the head of Zabul Civil Societyinfo-icon Organisation, said the residents of Zabul understood the importance of vote and want to fully participate in election.

He, however, said the chance of greater participation in polls was not available to the people.

He said despite, several issues and threats people registered as voter and wanted to use the right of vote but most of the polling stations remained closed on the Election Day and it unfair treatment with the people of Zabul.

He said if the government and IEC did not resolve the issue of polling station most of the people in presidential election would be deprived of exercising their democratic right.

Abdul Basir, another resident of Zabul, said the lack of polling stations was a huge issue for voters.

He said from one side the number of approved polling stations was enough and from another side most of the polling stations remain close on Election Day.

The residents of Zabul demanded increase in the number of polling stations at a time when registration for the presidential election had already kicked off.

Local IEC officials acknowledged the issue of polling station in Zabul, but added the authority of increasing the number of polling station was with the central IEC officer.

IEC Head AhmadKhel Fani said currently 100 polling stations had been approved for all districts of Zabul which should be opened.

He said as a result of insecurity, over half of the polling stations remained closed in previous elections.

He also confirmed that non-of a resident of the Dai Chopan and Khak Afghan districts registered for election and 75 of 100 polling centers were closed and 43 were opened.

Fani added they have been working jointly with security forces to address the problem in order to increase the number of vote centers in the province for the upcoming presidential July 29 polls.

Meanwhile, Gul Islam Seal, the governor’s spokesman, also acknowledged the polling station issue faced by the masses and said the governor’s house had discharged its responsibility in this regard.

He told Pajhwok they shared the issue with concerned authorities to increase the number of polling stations till the next presidential election.

Pk/nh

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