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MPs to grill IEC officials over polling stations’ relocation

MPs to grill IEC officials over polling stations’ relocation

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On
Dec 30, 2017 - 19:27

KABUL (Pajhwok): A number of Wolesi Jirga members on Saturday said many polling stations have been specified in areas which are out of government’s writ, saying the act was aimed at ‘engineering elections’.

Based on a recent report, the Independent Election Commission (IEC) has assessed and relocated 7,355 polling stations in 34 provinces cross the country.

June 7, 2018 has been announced as the date for Wolesi Jirga and district council elections; but according to some reports needed preparations have not been yet taken for the upcoming polls.

Mohammad Iqbal Safi, a lawmaker from central Kapisa at the Wolesi Jirga, while referring to the polling centers specified by the IEC during Saturday’s session of the house said: “Many polling places chosen in Kapisa province are located in areas which are not under government’s control.”

“This act is aimed at engineering polls in order they (IEC officials) are able to full ballot boxes of votes for their own candidates in areas where government has no any mandate.”

Safi asked the administrative board of the lower house to summon the IEC officials to brief legislators in this regard.

Wagma Safi, a public representative from eastern Kunar, also criticized the IEC for selecting improper polling stations in the province because many of the stations considered were in insecure areas.

He asked for revision of polling centers in the province, saying: “The government should not be allowed to maneuver the future elections in its own benefit.”

Abdul Rauf Ibrahimi, the Wolesi Jirga speaker, said: “Similarly such polling stations are specified in insecure areas of northern Kunduz province as well.”

He dubbed the act by IEC as questionable, saying the polling places should have been specified in coordination with people.

Ibrahimi said the house would summon IEC officials in next sessions to clarify the matter to lawmakers.

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