Ghazni governor warns of poll insecurity

GHAZNI CITY (PAN): The governor on Sunday said some districts in southern Ghazni province might experience security problems in next year's presidential elections. Musa Khan Akbarzada said though security had improved over the past year in many areas of the province, yet Giru, Ajristan, Rashidan and Nawa districts would remain insecure during the elections. "The security condition in these towns is not favourable,” said the governor, who recalled residents of the areas had been unable to exercise their right to vote in the previous polls due to security fears. Akbarzada suggested the presences of international observers would help mitigate the chances of fraud in the 2014 ballot. Ghazni council deputy chairman Abdul Jami Jami said security-related issues remained unaddressed in the province. “I don’t think the election will be fraud-free, given the concerns over insecurity,” he said, asking the government to focus on security before the elections. Mohammad Jawad, a Ghazni City dweller, recalled residents opted to stay indoors during the previous elections in the wake of insecurity in districts, enabling candidates to stuff ballot boxes. He also recalled the Taliban had threatened residents of cutting off their fingers and ears if they went to polling stations in the previous elections. The rebels later proved their claim by subjecting some voters to severe punishment, he said.

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