IEC to announce Presidential election timeline within next week

Officials from the Independent Election Commission (IEC) on Tuesday said that works are underway to outline a timeline for the upcoming presidential election and that it would be announced within next week.

The upcoming presidential election is scheduled to take place on April 20, next year. The IEC said that it will finalize a timeline for the upcoming polls next week.

“Next week, we will share the timeline of the presidential elections with people, the international community, electoral complaints commission, and election observes,” said Hafizullah Hashimi, a commissioner of the IEC. “Currently, work is underway to finalize the timeline.”

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IECC receives more than 11,000 complaints during elections

Independent Electoral Complaints Commission (IECC) says it has registered more than 11,000 complaints during the parliamentary elections last Saturday.

The IECC on Friday said that there are various types of complaints and that it will take them about a month to address them including 15 days for complaints lodged from Kabul and 15 days more for complaints received from other provinces.

Ghulam Dastgeer Hedayat, a member of the IECC said that they have received 11,200 complaints during the elections that the figures might change.

The election observers, however, said that the IECC was not capable of addressing the complaints in the set timetable.

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IEC receives 4400 sets of biometrics identity verification system

The Independent Election Commission of Afghanistan (IEC) officials are saying that 4,400 sets of biometrics identity verification system have been received for the upcoming parliamentary elections.

The officials showcased the newly-received systems in the presence of media outlets today.

The IEC officials further added that the remaining equipment for the activation of biometrics system would be delivered within the next seven days.

The head of the Central Statistics Organization confirmed that further equipment would be delivered within the next seven days to activate the biometrics system for the parliamentary elections, including the central servers for storing the biometrics data of the voters.

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Grand National Coalition closes political offices in three provinces

The Grand National Coalition, consisting of political parties, has closed the offices of the Independent Election Commission (IEC) in three provinces.

Sources privy of the development in the Grand National Coalition have said the step was taken after the government and the election commission failed to positively respond to their demands.

The sources further added that the election offices in Helmand, Balkh, and Kandahar have been closed.

They also warned that the election offices in other provinces will also be closed if the government and election commission did not respond positively to their demands.

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President Ghani orders to investigate distribution of fake ID cards

President Ashraf Ghani in an order set up a delegation led by the Attorney General’s Office to investigate the fraud in distribution of national ID cards.

Ghani’s order comes after the Grand National Coalition of Afghanistan revealed thousands of “fake national ID cards with their stickers”.

President tasked the delegation to investigate the distribution process of national ID cards from the year 1396 to 1397.

In another decree, President tasked a delegation to investigate the overall campaign of distributing the paper ID cards and to specify the exact number of distributed ID cards.

In the meantime, the electoral observing and monitoring institutions expressed deep concern over the management of time in holding the upcoming election.

“We concern over the management of time. Time passes and the election commission’s tasks slowly move forward. There are no political agreements and the technical weaknesses remain in place,” Naeem Ayoub Zada, the Transparent Election Foundation of Afghanistan (TEFA) said.

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Candidates call for reopening of IEC offices

A number of candidates of parliamentary elections said they are concerned over the closure of the Independent Election Commission (IEC) offices in Kabul and other provinces following protests by disqualified candidates.

The Independent Electoral Complaints Commission (IECC) disqualified 35 individuals from the final list of the parliamentary elections candidates earlier this month over the complaints it received from the people. The move met with protests by disqualified candidates in Kabul, Nangarhar, Balkh, Logar, Kunduz, Badakhshan and few other provinces where the protestors closed offices of the IEC.

The candidates said they call the commission and government to address the demands of the protesting candidates. They said continuance of the protests will affect the electoral process.

“We have considered a clear time for us and if it the protests continued it will create problems from a time and economic point of view,” said Hadi Miran, a parliamentary elections candidate.

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IEC reacts to Atta Noor’s warnings on upcoming elections

The Independent Election Commission (IEC) on Wednesday reacted to Chief Executive of Jamiat Islami party Atta Mohammad Noor’s warnings on upcoming elections.

Atta Mohammad Noor at Eid ceremony in Mazar–e-Sharif on Tuesday warned that they will boycott the election process and that will form an interim government if their demands for transparency of the upcoming elections have not been addressed.

His remarks came in wake of the political parties a two-week set deadline to the government for reforming the electoral system.

Changing the election system, allowing political parties to play a supervision in the election process and the usage of biometric system were among issues as the political parties insisted on its implementation within two weeks.  

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IEC warns of delay in parliamentary elections

The Independent Election Commission (IEC) on Wednesday warned that the upcoming parliamentary election would be impossible to be held on time if the current crisis continues the same.

“The commission is not responsible for the delay of holding the election and closing IEC branches in capital or other provinces has no legal basis,” a member of IEC, Hafizullah Hashemi said.

Despite the disqualified candidates set up sit-in tents near the IEC office, its provincial branches and staged protest, the election commission announced the names of 2565 nominees who succeed to be in the final list. Of the 2565 candidates, 2174 of them are men and 391 of them are women.

In the meantime, the observing institutions express concern over the closure of IEC office and its provincial branches and called on the International Community to find a solution for this issue.

Recently, the Independent Electoral Complaints Commission (IECC) has barred 35 candidates from running in upcoming parliamentary polls.

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IEC chief: no biometric system for parliamentary polls

Independent Election Commission (IEC) chief Abdul Badi Sayyad said at a press conference in Kabul on Wednesday that the commission will not be using a biometric system in this year’s elections as there is no time to roll out such a plan.

He said that although the commission was in favor of using technology for the elections, they did not have enough time to set up such a system as it would first need to be imported and then staff would need to be trained to use it.

He also said the IEC called on the Independent Election Complaints Commission (IECC) to send through the final list of disqualified parliamentary election candidates as soon as possible so as to avoid any delays in the process. 

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IEC to announce initial list of parliamentary polls candidates

The Independent Election Commission of Afghanistan (IEC) will announce the preliminary list of candidates for parliamentary elections by Thursday midnight. 

The commission will not select applications of those applicants whose documents do not comply with the law, head of the IEC Abdulbadi Sayyad said at an session on assessment of nominees’ documents.

“The commission will not facilitate those who have not prepared their documents according to the law. For instance, a candidate has not received the form to prove whether he committed any crime or a candidate whose supporters are less than the figure which has been stated in the law,” said Sayyad.

Based on the electoral calendar, the IEC should have announced the preliminary list of candidates for parliamentary elections on June 28, but electoral body said they received some applications late – which faced the process with a delay.

“When the open session is ended and the commission approves it, the system will decide about the fate of the candidates who will remain and who will be dropped from the list. We are trying to publish the list by 12am tonight,” said IEC commissioner Sayed Hafiz Hashemi. “We received documents of candidates from six provinces just yesterday,” he said.

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