Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Friday, July 21st, 2017

HPC Drawing up Ceasefire Plan for Elections

HPC Drawing up Ceasefire  Plan for Elections

KABUL - HPC deputy chief Habiba Sarabi says the plan is aimed at ensuring a peaceful environment for the coming parliamentary and district councils’ elections. The High Peace Council (HPC) is working on a plan to seal a ceasefire between security forces and anti-government armed groups in volatile areas during the upcoming parliamentary and district councils’ elections. The HPC deputy chief Habiba Sarabi said at a ceremony on Friday that the move is aimed at ensuring a peaceful environment for the coming elections.  “We have taken initial steps on a plan which will maintain ceasefire in a number of areas (during the coming elections),” she said. According to election commissioners, many challenges faced by the Independent Election Commission (IEC) are still on the ground. “We have not received financial help so far. Therefore, the problems are still remained. But there are clear, enduring and proper plans,” said Aziz Aryaee, head of Independent Electoral Complaints Commission. Electoral monitoring organizations said that besides insecurity, the IEC is faced with many other hurdles including the possibility of not receiving the election budget, the reduction of electoral districts, the use of technology in the electoral process and the preparation of voters’ list. “Differences inside the (independent election) commission have affected the required preparations for the elections,” said Habib Shinwari, member of Election Watch Afghanistan. “Weapons and equipment of police are being sold. (Police) commander are going on their own way. I do not think the election’s safety will be ensured in such a situation,” said Rangina Kargar, an MP. The Independent Election Commission announced the 7th July 2018 as the parliamentary and district council elections’ date.  However, later on, the IEC warned that if the institutions working with commission, especially government do not maintain security and do not provide election budget, the election date may change. The HPC remarks are expressed at a time that heavy clashes are ongoing between government forces and insurgents in insurgents in parts of the country.  (Tolonews)