Poll materials yet to reach Ghor districts

CHAGHCHARAN (Pajhwok):  Heavy snowfall has hampered transportation of election materials to several districts of western Ghor province, a major concern for the Independent Election Commission (IEC).
With nine districts, Ghor is one of the mountainous provinces where transportation of election materials has been a cumbersome exercise, according to officials.
Governor Syed Anwar Rahmati told Pajhwok Afghan News efforts were underway to reopen roads to the districts. In case of failure, the materials have to be airlifted. “If vehicles fail, animals may be used to transport the election materials to districts.”
IEC regional chief, Fazlullah Jalal, expressed concern over the blockade of roads, saying the issue was under discussion with senior officials. “If the road blockades continue, people may be deprived of voting.”
 Provincial police chief, Brig Gen Dilawar Shah Dilawar, said some personnel were recently appointed to improve security in six districts, but they were stuck on the way due to heavy snowfall.
Dilawar warned several polling stations would remain shut if the government failed to transport election materials to the remaining eight districts.
A civil society activist, Mohammad Sadiq Saba, said 19 polling sites had been closed due to security threats and the number might increase if roads remained blocked.
“We are concerned if voters don’t go to polling sites, some powerful individuals may collect their cards and use them illegally,” Saba argued.
A member of the Independent Electoral Complaints Commission (IECC), Aziz Rahman Ahmadi, also voiced concern that irresponsible armed individuals could interfere in election affairs.
Local officials said 6,500 illegal armed men and 3,500 militants were active in different parts of the province. They create problems for the election process and law enforcement.

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