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September 17, 2018
The Kabul Times

Political parties should cooperate IEC instead of criticism

A number of political parties on Saturday asked for suspension of voter registration process, believing that the process was not clear and transparent.
Based on figures of Independent Elections Commission (IEC) nearly nine million Afghans have registered to participate in upcoming parliamentary and district councils’ elections. But, leaders of a number of political parties at a gathering including leader of Hizb-e-Islami, Hizb-e-Wahdat-e-Islami, Jamiat-e-Islami, Mahaz-e-Islami, Islamic National Movement of Afghanistan and a few others asked for suspension of voter registration process and all other electoral activities.
They called for changes to be brought to the electoral system as the suspension of the voter registration process, rolling out a biometric system for voter registration and declaring each province a single constituency.  
According to a statement issued by leaders of the respective political parties, IEC has spent millions of dollars for voter registration process, but the process was incomplete and corrupt.
Nevertheless, President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani in a news briefing on Sunday by responding to demands of the respective political parties said: “Who are these politicians who speak on behalf of the people of Afghanistan? Who have elected them and given them authorization to represent the nation?”
“Do we want to end the 40-year crisis in Afghanistan, or we want to further deepen it? It is up to the people of Afghanistan to clearly decide. A group of people cannot determine the elections, but only the overwhelming majority of the people can determine results of the elections,” President Ghani added.
The country’s President stressed that efforts were underway to hold the upcoming election in a transparent and clear way, asking both civil society organizations and the international community to closely supervise all electoral processes so that any kind of frauds were prevented.
Meanwhile, Independent Elections Commission said that they would put all possible measures in place to prevent electoral frauds in all electoral processes.
“Based on election law, IEC is independently implementing its decisions and will let nobody or organization to interfere in electoral processes,” IEC commissioner Sayed Hafizullah Hashimi said.
He stressed that instead of boycotting elections, political parties should cooperate with IEC in monitoring all electoral processes, adding that voter registration process had some problems and challenges, but generally it would be transparent.
According to the IEC, so far, around nine million people have registered to vote in the upcoming parliamentary and district councils’ elections and out of this, details on about 250,000 voters have been entered into the voter database. The IEC also said they have not picked up any irregularities as yet regarding this process.  
Lailuma Noori

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