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Abdullah against opaque election

AT News Report-KABUL: Calling for all-inclusive, transparent and fair elections, Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah on Saturday said any decision and action of Independent Election Commission will be felt for generations.

The outcome of previous elections is still being felt exponentially and has been painful for the people and another election fiasco would have negative impacts, said Abdullah in Kabul addressing a conference on women’s role in the election process.

He insisted that people’s rights should be honoured in the upcoming elections and that the ongoing war is against groups that do not believe in elections.

He said these groups would benefit from elections that are not transparent and that the insurgents would only strengthen their activities on the back of a lack of public confidence in the process.

Abdullah also said that both men and women need to cast their votes equally, and without this peace would not be possible in the country.

He did however reject claims that district councils have little role to play in government and said that these councils were needed in order to strengthen democracy.

Speaking at the same event, the Independent Election Commission’s (IEC) Chairman Abdul BadiSayyad gave his word that the upcoming elections would be transparent.
However, Sayyad said that in addition to the enemies of the country, other powerful figures were trying to derail the election process. But he said not a single vote would be lost – that all votes would be counted.

Meanwhile, on Thursday the IEC said that over eight million Afghans have so far registered to vote across the country in the October 20 parliamentary and district council elections.

In April, the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) said women’s participation in the upcoming elections is a crucial component for strengthening Afghanistan’s democracy.

Many factors continue to undermine women’s participation in elections, including the general security situation along with the long distances they must travel to polling centers, particularly in rural areas.

While the Afghan government has taken steps to protect and improve women’s participation in public processes through legislation, the situation remains unchanged for many women of the country, including the women of eastern provinces, where harmful traditional practices are still prevalent, UNAMA reported at the time.

UNAMA said it maintains that women’s full participation – as candidates, electoral workers and voters – is a fundamental right, and that enhancing women’s participation in all stages of the electoral process is vital for strengthening democracy.

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