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Senate seeks details on no technology use in next polls

Senate seeks details on no technology use in next polls

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May 19, 2019 - 17:36

KABULinfo-icon (Pajhwok): Some Meshrano Jirgainfo-icon or Senate members on Sunday said the Independent Election Commission (IECinfo-icon)’s recent decision of not using technology in the upcoming presidential poll was illegal and asked for details in this regard.

In its decision, the IEC had said the use of technology could not be implemented, despite being stressed in the clause two, article 19 of the Election Law.

The IEC said reason for not using technology was the shortage of time, facilities and lack of awareness about biometric devices and election employees unfamiliarity with the devices.

But Mohammad Nadir Baloch, a senator, said at today’s session that the IEC decision was illegal and had raised some questions.

He said difficulties and conflicts in the electoral bodies had increased and if the situation continued the IEC would not be able to conduct a transparent, free and fair election.

Senate first deputy chairman Mohammad Alam Ezidyar, said: “We want the presidential election to be based on election law and we don’t want to see a repeat of the 2014 and 2018 polls.”

Muhiuddin Munisf, another lawmaker, said IEC’s recent decision of not using technology in the upcoming presidential poll had increased people concerns in this regard and it was clearly a violation of the law.

He said people had lost trust in the upcoming presidential election and they feared the poll might not turn into a huge catastrophe.

A number of other senators expressed similar views and urged the IEC to provide them further details over its recent decision of not using the technology.

Senate chairman Fazal Hadi Muslimyar said election officials should be summoned to appear before the upper house next Tuesday and assuage people’s concerns.

Election watchdogs on Saturday termed the IEC’s recent decision of not using technology in the upcoming presidential poll as ‘a government conspiracy.’

pk/ma

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