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Voters’ registration process successfully continuing countrywide, IEC

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Voters’ registration process successfully continuing countrywide, IEC
 Independent Elections Commission (IEC) says nearly 13,000 people have come Voter Registration Centers to register for upcoming parliamentary elections.
Officials to IEC say voter registration process have been successfully continuing throughout Afghanistan since the process began on Saturday.
“Despite of lack of public awareness in connection with voter registration process and problems that harmed elections processes in 2014, the people came to all centers and registered for upcoming parliamentary elections. Although we anticipated that a large number of people would participate and register for the upcoming elections, nearly 12,700 people had registered until Monday evening,” said Sayed Hafizullah Hashimi, an IEC commissioner.
He admitted that the process was going slow, so they were trying to convince the people to widely participate in the process across the country.
Independent Elections Commission started voter registration process this Saturday by opening 1419 centers across Afghanistan, but Hashimi says that 44 centers still remain closed due to insecurities in some parts of the country.
President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani, Chief Executive Dr. Abdullah Abdullah and a number of other government officials registered soon after the process was opened. After the registration, both leaders stressed on transparent elections in the country.
Nevertheless, Transparent Elections Foundation of Afghanistan (TEFA) while welcoming the inauguration of voter registration process in the country criticized low presence of the people for registration in voting centers due to current problems.
“Our reports have shown that presence of the people is still low, a number of centers have not been coordinated in a better way and even not opened on the first day of the process and another issue is that the people were not aware in a better way,” TEFA chairman Mohammad Naeem Ayoubzada said.
A number of election experts say the process was opened by IEC without considerable preparations, adding that presence of the people should increase.
“At least 10,000 – 20,000 people should be registered, now the number of people who visit daily voter registration centers are low. This shows that there are problems both in public awareness as well as in technical process,” said Jandad Spinghar, an election expert.
He stressed that further coordination should be made with political parties and necessary preparations should be taken in order to accelerate the process. 
Nevertheless, officials to IEC say the commission has opened the process with full preparation and held meetings with political parties and other organizations. They added that the commission has also consulted with them in connection with starting the process. IEC is asking all elections overseeing organizations, political parties and the people to cooperate with the commission for running the process in a better way.
It is determined that the upcoming parliamentary elections is held on October of the current year. Increasing insecurities in the country is considered as the principal and big challenge for holding the upcoming elections.