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‘Impossible’ for IEC to Adopt Biometric System in Elections – Observers

(Last Updated On: September 25, 2018)

Independent Election Watchdogs say the Election Commission (IEC) and the government have lost the opportunity of adopting a biometric system in Election Day.

Amid risen tensions with the political parties, the election commission days earlier accepted the plan to introduce biometric voter registration system in Election Day. However, an electoral watchdog says it is impossible for the IEC to adopt the plan.

“We should have an experimental process before introducing the [biometric] technology in order to assess the possible issues in this regard. Therefore, it is unlikely to hold the [upcoming] elections with a biometric system and have good results,” said Mohammad Yusuf Rashid, head of Free and Fair Election Foundation of Afghanistan (FEFA).

The IEC apparently also not optimistic about the biometric voter registration system at polling day.  

“These devices save the charge for 10 hours and it has powering facility which charges the other connected devices including printers. It shows that we don’t have issues to use them in Election Day if we get them on time,” said Abdul Aziz Ibrahimi, Deputy Head of the IEC.

Transferring the biometric devices, launching its experimental process, public awareness, training for the IEC staff and setting up its database in IEC offices are the issues which according to electoral observes will take at least two months.

“I am not sure, how the election commission and the government have taken the decision to hold the election with a biometric system in this short period of time. We know that it takes time and it is also impossible,” said Nayeem Ayoubzada, Head of Transparent Election Foundation of Afghanistan (TEFA).

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