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1st phase of voter registration begins

By Farhad Naibkhel-KABUL: Afghanistan’s electoral body on Saturday officially embarked upon the first phase of voter registration processfor the imminent parliamentary and district council elections.

Voter registration will be in three phases; first phase beginning on April 14 focuses on provincial capitals and will last till May 13; second phase starting on May 15 to continue up to May 28 will focus on district centers; third and last phaseto be kicked off in villageson May 30 till June 12. Voters should be aged above 18 years and have an identity card to be able to get a voter card.

President Ghani inaugurating the voter registration process said the franchise to vote and be elected was a distinctive characteristic of a democratic system. He stressed that the government was committed to holding elections, calling upon the election commission to be impartial and transparent in the following ballot.

Moreover, the presidential palace twitted, “President Ghani and the First Lady officially launched voter registration for the 2018 Lower House and district council elections.

“Voter registration started today in all election commission’s constituencies in the capital of all provinces,” said Mujibur Rahman Shirzad, spokesperson of the independent election commission.

He said that the eligible voters will be registered with their national ID cards. He confirmed that the first phase of voter registration process will be implemented in the capital of all provinces and will expand to second and third phasesin districts and villages.

Pinpointing security threats ahead of the voter registration, he said the election commission had inked an agreement with security apparatus and Afghan forces were protecting the process. “Thus far, the electoral personnel have not encountered any security threats,” he said.

The election commission chairmanDr. Abdul Badi Sayat in a statement said the commission was fully committed according to the constitution to hold the lower house and district council elections on October 20, 2018.

“Voter registration has started in 34 provincial capitals in a bid to prepare the final voter list and connect each voter to a specific polling center,” he notified. Sayat encouraged all Afghan citizens to register, and flaunt their unity and show to the world that Afghans can decide their fate independently with their ballots.

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