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Insecurity Draws Concerns Over Closure of Some Polling Centers

(Last Updated On: August 30, 2018)

More than seven thousand polling stations were listed for the upcoming elections, but more than 2,000 centers were closed because of insecurity.

Now with the increase of insecurity in the cities of Gardez, Maimana, Sar-i-Pul and several other parts of the country, concerns have peaked over the possibility of closure of other polling centers.

The Independent Election Commission (IEC) says the fall of any part of the country by terrorists would make it impossible for the election to be held in that part of the country.

Seyed Hafizullah Hashemi, secretary of the IEC has warned that some polling centers will be closed on Election Day if insecurity stays in high level and other sectors may collapse into the hands of terrorists.

According to IEC, It is difficult to hold elections in 32 districts of Afghanistan with the current security challenges, even in impossible areas.

The observing and monitoring institutions do not consider the security situation well. They are said to believe that the recent intensification of insecurity will reduce the number of open polling centers on Election Day.

“If we are to continue with this situation, it would be impossible to hold the election. If it is held, maybe there would be no overall general election,” Naeem Ayoub Zada, chairman of the Transparent Election Foundation of Afghanistan (TEFA) said.

The issue of ensuring election security is one of the main issues of the Interior Ministry’s security meetings, but apparently the intensity of the war and the increase in insecurity will challenge the overall pace of the election.

“All polling centers are listed in the Ministry of Interior and security measures have been instructed to the responsible,” Nasrat Rahimi, spokesman of MoI added.

In addition to the closed centers due to insecurity, the current challenges in Ghazni province caused the parliamentary election to not be held in the province which means that Ghazni will not have any new representative in the next parliament and that its people would be deprived of the right to vote.

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