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IEC Sets October as Date for Parliamentary Elections

(Last Updated On: April 1, 2018)

Afghanistan’s Independent Election Commission (IEC) on Sunday confirmed October 20 as the date for parliamentary and district council elections.

The head of IEC said insecurity is a major challenge in front of the upcoming election and urged Afghan security institutions to tackle this challenge.

“Today the Independent Election Commission officially announces to the noble people of Afghanistan that the election will be held on October 20,” IEC Chairman Gula Jan Abdul Badi Sayad told a news conference.

In addition, Sayad said that IEC will start working on voters list on April 14 in the center of the provinces and the Population Registration Authority will issue 10 million manual national ID cards soon.

“Due to the security challenges, our staff was not able to assess polling stations in 32 districts, but we are having contacts with security officials and they have assured us to secure those areas,” Sayad added.

The Chief of Army Staff, Gen. Mohammad Sharif Yaftali said that providing security for election is the government’s priority.

“A powerful commission is assigned for elections security. The process of delivering non-sensitive election materials started on March 29 and so far we have transferred non-sensitive election materials to 23 provinces and the process is ongoing for remained provinces,” Yaftali told Ariana News.

At the same time, Chairman of the Independent Election Complaints Commission (IECC) Abdul Aziz Aryaee said that IECC has provided a list of eligible candidates for the position of IECC Secretariat to the President’s office about one year ago, but the Commission hasn’t received any response back.

“It is about 11 months since we have sent the list to the presidential palace and we were supposed to have the head of the Secretariat by now,” Sayad said. “I’m calling once again on the government to take a serious action in this regard.”

The United Nations envoy to Afghanistan welcomed the IEC announcement, and called for the inclusion of all Afghans in the election process.

However, electoral observers accuse IEC and IECC of incompetency, saying that holding parliamentary and district council elections this year is not possible.

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