Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Thursday, July 19th, 2018

Parliamentary Polls: Candidate Registration from May 22

Parliamentary Polls: Candidate  Registration from May 22

KABUL - Independent Election Commission (IEC) chief Abdul Badae Sayyad on Wednesday said the registration of candidates to contest Oct 20 Wolesi Jirga and Districts Council elections would kick off from May 22.
Sayyad announced the date while testifying before the lower house after he was summoned to brief the lawmakers about preparations for the upcoming polls and other related matters.
The IEC head said his organization had designated 7,367 places as polling stations in Kabul and provinces, but the commission was unable to evaluate 32 polling stations in districts due security issues.
Sayyad said this time polling stations had been shifted from private homes and facilities to government-run hospitals, mosques and schools in order to prevent powerful individuals from interference.
He said the approved polling stations had been shared with security authorities who would create their security plan for these stations.
Twenty-one million voter registration cards had been declared invalid while the registration process for new voter cards would kick off on April 15, said the electoral official.
He said voter registration materials had been transferred to nine provinces and to another 13 provinces being delivered.
He said the voter registration program needed nearly 30 million afs which would be provided by donor countries and the government would pay only 10 percent of the amount.
He said transparency and fairness in elections was possible if the government purchased the required machinery and handed it over to the IEC. He, however, pledged to ensure transparency and fairness in elections within the available resources.
Regarding delimitation of constituencies, the IEC chief said a draft in this regard had been handed over to the government nine months ago but there had been no response.
“If the government does not provide a positive or negative response on creation of constituencies, the upcoming elections would be held on the past method and every province would a constituency.”
Based on the IEC draft plan, five people could be elected to the lower house from one election constituency while Kabul has 33 seats from allotted five constituencies.
Meanwhile, political parties have demanded single seat for every constituency.
Referring to the presidential and provincial council elections, Sayyad said a committee had been tasked with deciding schedules for the polls. (Pajhwok)