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Electoral monitors pessimistic over biometric-based election

AT-KABUL: Some electoral watchdogs believe that it would be impossible to hold a biometric-based election on October 20th, accusing the independent election commission of poor management that hinders to use biometric in the parliamentary election.

Yousuf Rashid, head of the Free and Fair Election Forum of Afghanistan (FEFA), said Sunday that the commission had wasted time and tries now to launch a dramatic game repeated in the past regarding the biometric-based election.

“We have to evaluate the problems of technology we use in the election before the election is held. We need to have trained staff and now, we are far from a technology-based election and get a good result. The use of biometric for now is just for silencing political parties, while it is not possible to use it in the election,” Rashid said.

Afghans have only 27 days for the legislative election, and the election commission says it could hold a timely election.

Use of biometric machineries, training staff, publicity, capacity building and making database need at least two months, according to monitors, who say the election commission just wants to deceive the people.

The election commission announced it would use biometric in the election after tensions with the opposition political parties who were insisting on the biometric-based election that they say; would be the only way to prevent fraud.

But now, the commission seems is unsure to use the biometric in the election.

Zabihollah Sadat, deputy spokesman of the commission said Sunday that the election would be held by using the paper ID cards if the German company that is expected to transfer machineries, could not hand over the machines to the commission.

“We have spoken to a German company regarding the machines, and they say the machineries do not need time and training. They can maintain electricity for 10 hours their power banks can give electricity to the spare parts such as printers. So, we don’t have problems and if the company gives the machines to us on time, we will hold a biometric-based election,” Sadat said.

But, the opposition parties doubt over the use of technology, saying the government is yet to clarify the mechanism it would use in the biometric election.

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