Several feared dead, wounded during election violence in Afghanistan

Several people have been killed or wounded in separate attacks carried out by the anti-government armed militants during the elections in capital and other provinces of Afghanistan.

The Emergency Hospital in a statement has confirmed that the body of a child has been shifted to the hospital along with 47 others who had sustained injuries in separate incidents in Kabul.

This comes as reports emerged earlier suggesting that a suicide attack in Kabul city earlier this evening has left at least five policemen and ten civilians dead.

According to the reports, the incident took place after a suicide bomber detonated his explosives in the 17th police district of the city.

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Three arrested in connection with assassination of Jabar Qahraman

Three suspects have been arrested in connection with the apparent assassination of the parliamentary candidate, Abdul Jabar Qahraman, the Ministry of Interior said on Wednesday.

“Qahraman was among four people killed by the blast, another seven were wounded and three suspects have been arrested,” Wais Ahmad Barmak, the interior minister said.

Qahraman became the 10th election candidate to die ahead of Saturday’s polls when the blast tore through his campaign office.

“Abdul Jabar Qahraman had been meeting with supporters in his campaign office in the southern province of Helmand when a bomb hidden under a sofa exploded,” provincial governor spokesman Omar Zhwak added.

The Taliban quickly claimed responsibility for the attack in a statement posted online.

In the wake of the attack, President Ghani condemned the group, saying they will not undermine citizens’ faith in democracy.

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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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Efforts underway to use Biometric System in election day

The Independent Election Commission (IEC) says serious efforts are underway to use the biometric system in the Election Day.

“We have made our efforts to use the biometric system in the Election Day and to recognize every voters that cannot vote for the second time,” Abdul Badi Sayad, the chairman of IEC said.

However, a number of parties claim that they have not negotiated regarding the biometric system with IEC officials and called for holding a tripartite meeting among the government, parties and the company which prepares the system’s technology.

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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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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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The decision to drop 25 names from candidates’ list draws protest

The decision of the assigned committee of the Independent Electoral Complaints Commission (IECC) to drop 25 names from the parliamentary election candidates’ list has drawn protest in Kabul.

The current parliament member Fawzia Koofi whose name was also removed from the list, on Saturday protested against the decision.

She said the plans being taken at the committee were political and were under the government’s consideration.

MP Alagul Mujahid, meanwhile, said that the government wants to remove Mujahideen from the list in order to make way in the parliament for those holding dual citizenship.

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Ghani сalls on European Council for more observes in election process

President Ashraf Ghani has called on the Council of European Union for more observers to ensure the transparency in the upcoming election process.

President Ghani in his second day of visit from Brussels has met with the President of the European Council Donald Tusk and urged him for more cooperation in Afghan electoral process.

In the meantime, the Independent Election Commission (IEC) praised the presence of more international and internal observers for the transparency of election process.

However, the Hezb-e Islami criticized fraud, widespread corruption and lack of management in the election process.

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IECC registers over 600 complaints against candidates

The Independent Electoral Complaints Commission (IECC) on Tuesday said it has registered at least 600 complaints against candidates who are hoping to run for parliament in the October 20 elections.

IECC secretary Mohammad Reza Rouhani said that complaints were also filled against candidates who have links with illegal armed groups and that a special commission will investigate these allegations.

If complaints against the candidates are found to be legitimate and true, their names will be dropped from the list, said the IECC.

“The special commission has started its work. Some of the complaints are filed against individuals who either have links with illegal armed groups or who are in some way related to these acts; these complaints will be probed by the special commission,” said Rouhani.

According to the IEC, 2,691 candidates, including 404 women, have filed nomination forms as candidates.

“The complaints commission will investigate the matter and if anyone is found guilty their name will be dropped from the list,” said IEC secretary Sayed Hafiz Hashemi.

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