IEC relaxes conditions for candidates

KABUL (PAN): The Independent Election Commission (IEC) on Saturday announced relaxing certain conditions for presidential and provincial council candidates.
On Tuesday, the commission released a preliminary list of candidates for next year’s elections, featuring 10 of the 27 registered presidential hopefuls.
Dr. Abdullah Abdullah, Abul Rab Rassoul Sayyaf, Qutbuddin Hilal, Abdul Rahim Wardak, Dr Ashraf Ghani, Dr Zalmai Rassoul, Sardar Mohammad Nader Naeem, Qayyum Karzai, Hidayatullah Amin Arsala and Gul Agha Sherzai are on the list of presidential wannabes.
Anwarul Haq Ahadi, Syed Ishaq Gilani, Bismillah Sher, Fazal Karim Najimi, Hashmat Ghani Ahmadzai, Sarwar Ahmadzai, Hamidullah Qadiri, Daud Sultanzoy, Azizullah Ludin, Salman Ali Dostzada, Farooq Azam, Khadija Ghaznavi, Abdul Hadi Dabir, Noor Rahman Lewal, Dawar Ahmad Naderi and Nader Shah Ahmadzai were excluded from the list.
Addressing a news conference in Kabul, IEC Secretary Ziaul Haq Amarkhel acknowledged technical problems in the commission’s databank. Information on the condition for a presidential candidate to produce 100,000 voter cards was not final, he said.
“Our system is 70 percent complete and accurate and that’s why the IEC has agreed to give each of the 26 runners a concession of a 30 percent reduction,” he said, explaining the decision had been prompted by technical problems.
Provincial council candidates are also eligible for the concession, according to Haq, who said women aspirants would be allowed a 50 percent cut in voter cards.  
He said the IEC was ready to share information with candidates individually regarding their cases. The disqualified presidential runners had failed to meet certain conditions including dual citizenship and incomplete documents, he added.
Following an investigation of cases by the Independent Electoral Complaints Commission (IECC), the preliminary list of candidates could be amended, the official indicated.

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