AT News Report
KABUL: The Independent Election Commission (IEC) has chosen Denmark for printing the ballot papers for the September presidential elections, an official at the commission said on Wednesday, adding that counterfeiting the ballots would be impossible.
Zabihullah Sadaat, a spokesman for the commission, said that the number of ballot papers would be according to the number of registered voters.
“We are going to print the papers in Copenhagen city of Denmark. We took the decision in order to prevent the forgery of ballot papers. These papers would be printed differently with no possibility of fraud.”
For the previous polls, the election body printed nine million ballot papers in Dubai with enormous amount of costs.
As the presidential elections are just around the corner with three more months to go – scheduled for September 28th – the commission has not determined the number of prospective voters as of yet and doesn’t how many ballot papers are needed.
Meanwhile, a number of political parties are against this decision and don’t accept the ballot papers. Fazal Ghani Haqmal, a spokesperson for the Hezb-i-Islami Party, said the usage of biometrics should be ruled out in the upcoming elections.
The Presidential Palace has also said that it has been decided to purchase 17,000 biometric devices to use technology in the forthcoming elections.
However, the IEC says utilizing the paper system for voting would also be part of the presidential elections.
On the other hand, a number of election watchdogs also voiced their concern, saying that such ballot papers could also be printed inside the country.
Mohammad Naeem Ayoubzada, the head of Transparent Election Foundation of Afghanistan (TEFA), said: “If there is mismanagement in election process like before, it doesn’t matter howevermuch expensive ballot papers are put into use, there is always the chance of fraud.”
“It would have been better to print the ballot papers within Afghanistan or by a country with fewer costs because the quality of the ballot papers is of no use and therewould still be misuse.”
He further said last time the challenge faced was late arrival of ballot papers form Dubai during the last parliamentary elections.