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IEC defies gate’s blockade to change poll date

IEC defies gate’s blockade to change poll date

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Aug 29, 2018 - 18:59

KABULinfo-icon (Pajhwok): The Independent Election Commission (IECinfo-icon) says despite protests interrupting its daily work, the parliamentary elections would be conducted on October 20.

Merza Mohammad Haqparast, IEC deputy spokesman, told Pajhwok Afghan News during an exclusive interview that the closure of the IEC gate for about 12 days by protestors hampered the election’s body work but the IEC remained committed to holding the long-delayed elections on schedule.

He said the protests cut off the IEC from other government institutions and forced the electoral body to delay the hiring of over 2,000 employees and other affairs.

Haqparast added before the protests, they added up to 350,000 voters to the system but the protests rendered the IEC unable to continue the data entry.

“The announcement of voter list was expected on August 14, but unfortunately it was delayed due to the protests by supporters of the disqualified candidates.”

The deputy IEC spokesman said their workload had surged but still the IEC was striving to manage the time lost and ensure the polls were conducted on October 20.

He expressed concern about the deteriorated security situation in the country and said security of polling station had been discussed with security officials.

Supporters of disqualified candidates have blocked key roads and the main gate of the IEC after the election body removed 35 candidates from the final list over the eligibility issue.

The disqualified candidates include some sitting lawmakers who were angered by the IEC decision and led their supporters to protest in front of the IEC office in Kabul City’s PD#9.

nh/ma

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