IEC: Over 70 voter registration centres closed due to security threats

The Independent Election Commission (IEC) says due to security threats more than 70 voter registration centers have been closed in last two weeks across the country.

Since beginning of the first phase of the voter registration process, IEC has opened 1,419 registration places in centers of 34 provinces; however, in last two weeks more than 70 centers have been closed.

According to IEC, due to insecurity, more centers likely to be closed in second and third phases of the voter registration process.

“Several [voter registration] centers have not been opened due to security threats that makes it to 73 centers in total,” said Hafizullah Hashimi, a commissioner of the IEC.

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Abdul Badi Sayyad elected as IEC chairman

Afghan electoral commissioners have elected former spokesman and secretary of Independent Election Commission (IEC), Abdul Badi Sayyad as its new Chairman, said an IEC member.

“Mr. Sayyad could secure 50+1 votes of electoral commissioners in today’s IEC election”, said Maliha Hassan, a member of Afghanistan Independent Election Commission.

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Afghanistan’s upcoming elections still face challenges

The Independent Election Commission (IEC) has labeled security, lack of budget and distribution of electronic ID cards the main challenges ahead of the upcoming parliamentary and provincial council elections.

Currently, all eyes are on the Afghan government as to whether or not it will be able to deliver on its promise of providing free and fair parliamentary and district elections scheduled for July 7, 2018.

“The three challenges; insecurity, lack of budget and electronic ID cards have been seriously affected the timing of holding the upcoming elections,” said Abdul Badi Sayad, IEC commissioner.

During the introduction ceremony of a new commissioner, the IEC officials have called on electoral partners to provide the election’s requirements on its specified time.

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President Ghani, CE Abdullah appoints new member for Election Commission

President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani and Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah have approved Syed Hafizullah Hashemi as the new member of the Independent Election Commission of Afghanistan.

Officials in the Office of the Chief Executive of the Unity Government confirmed the appointment of Mr. Hashemi today.

CE Abdullah’s advisor Fraidoon Khozun said Mr. Hashemi has been appointed as the new member of the Independent Election Commission after a shortlist of the candidates containing three names was provided to the government leaders.

He said President Ghani and CE Abdullah selected Mr. Hashemi from among the three candidates after reviewing their backgrounds and work experiences.

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Hekmatyar presents his ‘reform plan’ to IEC

Hezb-e-Islami leader Gulbuddin Hekmatyar says in the current situation there is no possibility of forming interim government or bringing changes in electoral system as the party presented its “reform plan” to the Independent Election Commission (IEC) on Saturday.

Citizens having the right to cast vote, allowing the political parties to oversee the election process, preparing the list of voters and ensuring the security of election are the key issues of the presented plan of Hezb-i-Islami.

“There is neither agreement on forming the interim government, especially at this short period of time, nor possibility of changing the commission bodies,” Hekmatyar said at a joint press conference on Saturday.

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