Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Tuesday, November 21st, 2017

IEC Blasts Donor Nations for Not Funding Election Equipment

IEC Blasts Donor  Nations for Not Funding Election Equipment

KABUL – IEC said it will not be able to digitalize the election system as the international  community has failed to fund the purchase of much needed electronic equipment.
The Independent Election Commission (IEC) on Monday said the international community has not provided funding for the electronic equipment the election commission needs to digitalize the election process.
They said this was why a digital voter’s list had not been drawn up.
According to election commission officials, they are worried that the upcoming elections may be delayed due to financial problems.
Election commission spokesman Abdul Badi Sayad said although donor countries had committed to supporting the IEC in digitalizing elections, there has so far been no sign of such support.
“We sent the election schedule to government and donor countries; but we have not seen any big cooperation from them yet. We told them (donor countries) that we need these devices and equipment that should be bought for us, because government does not have the funds to buy this equipment. They had promised to buy the equipment, but when asked to put into practice their promise, they said we cannot and said we can help you only in training. We appeal them to buy us the equipment to prepare the list,” said Sayad.
The institutions overseeing the election process however said the international community’s distrust in the National Unity Government’s (NUG) leaders and election commission commissioners is the reason why donor countries are reluctant to help fund the election commission.
“The commission should list its plans and send it to the international community in a letter. The international community would not support the election process unless the commission requests its needs in a letter and enhances its capacities,” Naeem Ayubzada, head of Transparent Election Foundation of Afghanistan said.
Currently the election commission is working to hold parliamentary and district council elections in July – as a paper ballot.
The commission said they are going to draw up a voter’s list manually, which according to election watchdogs will take a year to finish.
“They (commissioner) do not know how to register the voters. If they were independent, if they had professional abilities, they could do this manually,” Jandad Spinghar, head of Afghanistan Civil Society Election Network said. (Tolonews)