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.
“It will affect our activities. It will affect our time. The weather is getting colder. This will pave the way for a delay in the upcoming elections,” said Mawla Mohammad Paiman, a candidate.
According to electoral watchdog organizations, the consequences of the closure of IEC offices are concerning.
“Two months have left for the (parliamentary) elections and we need that the IEC should continue its activities properly,” said Habibullah Shinwari, spokesman for Election Watch Afghanistan, an electoral watchdog organization based in Kabul.
An IEC spokesman, Ali Reza Rouhani, said the only way to overcome the problem is obey the law.
“Obeying the law is the solution the issues (around elections). Required, serious and legal measures by government and security agencies will further smooth the way to overcome the problems,” Rouhani said.
The Independent Electoral Complaints Commission has not rejected the possibility that more candidates will be removed from the final list of parliamentary elections candidates.
Addressing a press conference last week – August 17, IECC commissioners said they have issued warning to some candidates in the final list and that they will also be disqualified if the commission receives further evidence against them. The IECC spokesman Ali Reza Rouhani did not name any specific candidate when he made the remarks.