235, 000 observers to monitor parliamentary elections, IEC

All preparations have been taken by Afghanistan Independent Election Commission (IEC) for holding the upcoming parliamentary elections. According to IEC officials, nearly 235,000 observers including 19 international observers will monitor the parliamentary elections set to be held on October 20.
“235,014 observers including 19 foreign observers have taken the observing cards so far,” IEC spokesperson SayedHafizullahHashimi said, adding that 107 organizations including political parties, civil society, electoral watchdog organizations, media and parliamentary candidates have been registered to observe the elections.
Regarding security threats ahead of election, Hashimi said nine parliamentary candidates have lost their life in various incidents in the country since the beginning of registration process of parliamentary candidates, adding that elections would not be held in 10 districts of the country due to security threats.
Meanwhile, a number of lawmakers consider insecurities in some provinces of the country as key challenges facing the October 20 parliamentary elections. They are asking the government to make use of possibilities for maintaining security of polling centers so all Afghans can go to the centers and cast their votes for their favorite candidate.
“Election is the only option and process through which Afghans can elect their representatives and president; therefore, the government pave the way for all the people to use their right and cast votes for their representatives at the elections,” a lawmaker Azimi said.
He also asked the government not to interfere in works of the country’s electoral commissions, adding that electoral watchdog organizations had the responsibility to observe and monitor the elections in a better way to avoid fraud and meddling during the election day.
A number of political experts have also considered the elections as the only way to address current crisis of Afghanistan.
“Non-interference of government officials, political parties and increasing of monitoring the voting process can help hold fair and transparent elections,” an Afghan political expert Javed Kohistani said.
He considered holding the parliamentary elections as big test for Afghanistan government if held in a transparent and fair way, trust of the people on the government would increase.
Meanwhile, a number of Afghans believe that hopes have now increased as national and international observers will monitor the October 20 parliamentary elections and biometric system will be used during the election day, but the only concern of the people is security, asking the government to tight security on the election day.
Based on IEC statistics, over 2,300 candidates across Afghanistan have nominated themselves to run in the upcoming parliamentary elections scheduled for October 20. It is also worth mentioning that campaigns of parliamentary candidates kicked off Friday and will continue for 20 days. 
Suraya Raiszada

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