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“Election panels must deliver on their commitments over transparency”

KABUL: Some members of parliament call on the two electoral commissions to fulfill their commitments regarding a transparent election, with speaker Abdul Raouf Ebrahimi saying Monday that people largely took part in the October 20 legislation election because the Independent Election Commission had earlier vowed to use the biometrics system in order to prevent fraud.

“We hope that the Independent Election Commission and Independent Electoral Complaints Commission carry out based on the law and fulfill their commitments over the transparency of election, so that the results of elections be acceptable for people,” said Ebrahimi.

People in the southern province of Kandahar went to polls on October 27, a week later due to the killing of provincial security officials, while residents of Ghazni province were deprived from voting because the government refused to hold elections there due to several reasons including the fear that candidates from Hazara ethnicity get all the 11 seats because the Pashtoon-dominated areas are insecure for election.

There were hundreds of complaints about the biometrics system. The independent election commission admitted that the system did not operate well and in some of the polling station, the system was not used and the clean votes are also reliable to be counted.

But, the electoral complaints commission had said it would invalidate the votes without biometrics system.

Meanwhile, the electoral watchdogs warn that confrontation between the two commissions would put negative impacts on the results and would hamper the next year’s presidential election.

“The two commissions have to solve their problems based on their rights and authorities. They should not accuse each other through news conferences because some politicians will misuse their differences,” said Yousof Rashid, head of the Free and Fair Election Forum of Afghanistan (FEFA).

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