Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Friday, October 19th, 2018

1.3 Million People Register to Vote Since Call for Elections

1.3 Million People Register to Vote Since Call for Elections

KABUL - Families fear for the security of their children attending schools where many of the registration centers are set up.
Officials from the Independent Election Commission of Afghanistan (IEC) on Tuesday said that over 1.3 million people have registered to vote in the October 20 parliamentary and district council elections.
From the figure, 351,060 constitute women, said the IEC.
Meanwhile, a number of families and students have raised concern over the existence of voter registration centers and security threats inside schools.
“I did not go to school when the explosion happened, my father asked me to stay at home,” said one student Assadullah, in Kabul.
“People feel fear, some people prefer not to go to school, they say the government does not provide security,” said another resident, Rasul.
The IEC has established 1,419 voting registration centers across the country, with the majority inside school premises. Families have argued they are concerned about the security of their children.
“People do not allow their children to go to school, I have a son and wait for him the whole day,” said another resident of Kabul, Ramazan.
Reports indicate that many families in Kabul have been preventing their children from attending schools in the wake of last month's suicide attack by a Daesh militant group at an election-related facility in Kabul, which left scores of civilians dead and wounded.
According to IEC, the voter turnout in Kabul has been the highest compared to other provinces.
Over 35,000 people register in Kabul on daily basis, the IEC said.
The total number of people registered in Kabul since the start of the process is estimated at 460,000.
“During the assessment programs, the commission pulled out of a number of centers established inside people’s homes and in homes of powerful people, and relocated them inside mosques and Madrasas (religious schools). Centers should be established in areas accessible to the people. People are concerned, but if God willing, nothing happens, the security forces are providing security,” said Awalurrahman Rodwal, chairman of Kabul voter registration center.
IEC says from the total number of 7,350 polling stations in the country, 948 stations are located in areas under control of militants.
The commission has scheduled parliamentary and district councils’ elections on October 20.
According to the IEC’s timeline, the first phase of the voter registration process at provincial centers will continue until May 13. The process will start in district centers on May 15 until May 28. From May 30 to June 12, the process will be carried out in villages and remote areas across the country.
IEC officials have said the commission would like to register 12 to 15 million people for the upcoming parliamentary and district council elections. Tolo news)