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FEFA lashes out at belated zone-based elections in Ghazni

AT-KABUL: The Free and Fair Election Forum of Afghanistan (FEFA), blamed the Independent Election Commission (IEC) for launching the October legislative and district council elections in a zone-based structure in Ghazni province, describing it as a belated decision.

Yousuf Rashid, head of the FEFA, said Tuesday that the commission would face many technical and operational problems for in Ghazni for making such a late decision.

The commission made this decision to meet the demands of people in Ghazni who had earlier protested it for being careless in solving electoral problems.

“Though the decision was a positive response to break the impasse in Ghazni, but it was adopted too late. I wish the commission would have made this decision earlier and prevent the problems,” said Rashid.

He added that the primary lists of candidates were to be announced within two days and the decision over Ghazni would make delay comparing other provinces.

The election commission announced on Monday to hold the elections in zone based in Ghazni, saying that the province would be divided into three zones.

The decision was made after a few people protested that the representatives from Ghazni who managed to go to parliament belonged to a certain ethnicity. The protestors closed the provincial electoral office and asked for zoning of the voting centers.

The commission says it would announce the extraordinary calendar for Ghazni voters and candidates.

Hafizullah Hashemi, a commissioner of the election commission said that they would try to hold elections in Ghazni and other provinces simultaneously.

“Ghazni is back from other 33 provinces regarding electoral affairs. We will work round the clock to make it simultaneous. This is very much, but is not impossible,” said Hashemi.

Aref Noori, provincial spokesman, said that tight security measures had been adopted along with other measures to hold a timely and transparent election.

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