Insecurity ‘Major Challenge to Afghan Elections’ Say Watchdogs

(Last Updated On: March 26, 2018)

The continued deteriorating security situation in some Afghan provinces will be a challenge to hold nationwide elections in Afghanistan, a number of political parties and electoral observers said Monday.

“The security of polling centers have changed to a major challenge. More than one thousand polling center is under security threats and likely holding election in more than one thousand and twenty centers is impossible,” Naeem Ayoubzada, the head of Transparent Election Foundation of Afghanistan (TEFA) said.

In addition, politicians and election watchdogs blamed the government for making efforts to arrange the elections on its own favor.

“The government of Afghanistan is obliged to support the electoral commissions in all provinces and districts in terms of ensuring the security,” Ahmad Javed Alemi, representative of Hezb-e-Insjam Milli said.

However, Gula Jan Abdul Badi Sayad, the chairman of Afghanistan’s Independent Election Commission (IEC) assured that Afghan forces will provide the election security.

“The Afghan security forces have shared their security plan with us and to a certain extent we are confident that the security institutions with assistance from Resolute Support (RS) can ensure the security of polling centers,” Sayad said.

“Polling centers with high-security threats have been included in Nusrat military operation in order to be cleared completely to have peaceful elections,” Najib Danish, the Ministry of Interior (MoI) Spokesman said.

According to the MoI, from the total 7,355 polling stations, 1,120 polling centers across the nation face high-security threats and another 948 polling centers are not under the control of government forces. Meanwhile, 1,122 centers are under medium threat which need to be secured by the security institutions.

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