Insecurity a major problem for runoff ballot: IEC

 
KABUL (Pajhwok): The Independent Election Commission (IEC) said the election was being conducted in a war like situation and insecurity was a big challenge ahead to complete the democratic process.
IEC Secretary Zia-ul-Haq Amarkhel while addressing a seminar on role of religious scholars, tribal elders, youth and women in elections, hoped security officials had worked out a stringent plan to protect voters to exercise their right to vote.
Presidential contender Dr. Abdullah Abdullah escaped unhurt in a suicide attack in Kabul which left six civilians dead and over 22 others wounded.
In light of security organs assessment, the IEC said of 6,400 polling stations, almost 184 polling centres would stay closed due to high security threats during the runoff.
The Interior Ministry had also aired same concerns by saying runoff process would be more challenging than the April 5 vote but security forces were all prepared to thwart evil designs of the enemy of Afghanistan.
The IEC is all set to conduct elections throughout the country but the country’s forces should ensure strict security measures, Amarkhel added.
Based on presidential decree, security forces should not roam around the polling stations to avoid any rigging or fraud attempt.
By keeping into consideration the lessons learnt during the April 5 vote, flaws and drawbacks should not be recurred or repeated deliberately, Amarkhel said, adding special preparations were put in place to avoid any untoward incident during the landmark second round of ballot.
At least 15 million ballot papers were printed this time and no one would be deprived of his/her vote right, he reiterated.
“We dispatched electoral material to 34 provinces and their onward transfers to the districts are underway,” he noted.
He asked runners to respect each other and avoid disparaging language during canvassing.
ra/rm

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