The Independent Election Commission (IEC) on Saturday said that more than nine million ballot papers for the upcoming parliamentary election would be printed outside the country.
The IEC did not name the country where the ballot papers are expected to be printed, but reports suggest that the design of the ballot papers has already been sent to Dubai, UAE for printing.
Hafizullah Hashimi, a commissioner of the IEC said that the ballot papers being sent outside the country for printing as a move to prevent fraud and ensure transparency in the election process.
“The commission has taken the decision to print [the ballot papers] outside Afghanistan, in order to ensure its safety and quality, and maintain the trust of the people & the candidates,” he said.
The election observers, however, pessimistic regarding the IEC’s this move, saying it will pave way for massive fraud in the election process.
“There is no guarantee that there will be no misuse [in the process of printing the ballot papers]. Who will guarantee that they will not print out [the ballot papers] more than its actual number,” said the head of TEFA, Naeem Ayoubzada.
This comes as the parliamentary and district council elections are scheduled to be held on October 20, followed by the presidential elections on April 20, next year.