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IEC urged to ensure voting facilities for disabled

IEC urged to ensure voting facilities for disabled

Jun 02, 2013 - 11:40

KABULinfo-icon (PANinfo-icon): Civil societyinfo-icon groups on Sunday called for the Independent Election Commission (IECinfo-icon) to ensure necessary facilities for people with disabilities at polling stations.

At a day-long workshop organided by the Swedish Committee for Afghanistaninfo-icon SCA), speakers also recommended polling stations should be made accessible to the special people.

Presidential and provincial council elections  are scheduled to be held on April 5,  2014. The parliamentary ballot will take place a year later.

Lawmakers and representatives of the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission, civil society and advisors from the Ministry of Labor, Social Affairs, Martyrs and Disabled attended the workshop.

According to a statement from SCA, the speakers recalled the problems the disabled voters faced in reaching the polling stations during the previous elections. As a result, a large number of them were deprived of exercising their voting right.

They also urged the provision of poll material for people with disabilities and IEC awareness prgrammes for such individuals. UNDP and other UN agencies were asked to play an active role in the election process and make sure that the disabled were not left out of the loop.

Civil society representatives suggested IEC staff be deputed to help people with visual impairment in casting their votes, and persons with disabilities be recruited to the commission.

Officials say there are 48, 00,000 people with disabilities in the country -- around 2.7 percent of the whole population. Nearly 60 percent of them are male and 41 percent female.

pr/mud

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