IN THE NEWS: 3.4 MILLION REGISTER TO VOTE AS IEC EXTENDS REGISTRATION (MAY 27, 2018)

Written by admin on Monday, May 28th, 2018

Selected by Olivier Immig & Jan van Heugten

3.4 Million Register to Vote as IEC Extends Registration Timeline
SOURCE: TOLO News
Sunday, May 27, 2018
By ANISSA SHAHEED

*Election monitoring groups have questioned the validity of the figures, saying the number could be a lot less

The Independent Election Commission of Afghanistan (IEC) on Sunday said that over 3.4 million people have registered to vote in the October elections across the country.

The IEC has also extended the voter registration process for another ten days.

But, election monitoring groups and former heads of the IEC have said that the election commission does not have credible documents to prove how many people have actually registered.

Observers have also raised concerns over the IEC’s failure to establish a voter registration database.

According to IEC statistics, since the start of the voter registration process on April 14, a total of 3,475,388 people have registered across the country – of which 1,070,145 were women; 2,336,144 were men, 68,631 were Kuchis and 468 were Sikhs.

Kabul with 956,820 voters remains at the top of the list in terms of voter turnout.

“The election commission so far has not created a system to show how many people have registered, still there is the database and there is no proper system, what the election commission says is information gathered over the telephone which is not credible,” said Fazel Ahmad Manavi, former IEC chief.

“These statistics are not certified, when these statistics are put into a database, I think these numbers would be very different and a lot less,” said former IEC chief Najibullah Ahmadzai.

Election observers have said the turnout of people at voter registration centers continues to remain weak and that local lawbreakers and officials in provinces have been seen to put stickers on fake ID cards.

“If the election commission does not act regarding the database and does not seek cooperation from the international community regarding control and monitoring of issues such as this, I think, members of the election commission, the former election commissioners and even officials before them will be declared national traitors,” said chairman of FEFA Yousuf Rashid.

Meanwhile CEO Abdullah Abdullah’s office has called on the IEC to step up the process of creating the voter database.

“The commission has enough time to enter all those names who registered into the database,” said the CEO’s deputy spokesman Jawed Faisal.

Based on the IEC statistics, over 20 percent of voter registration centers will not open due to security threats.

The IEC has said that efforts have been stepped up to open nearly 700 voter registration centers across the country which are either still closed or still waiting for election materials to be delivered.

 

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