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Lack of ballot verification looms election crisis: Watchdog

AT News Report

KABUL: While Afghans have less than 90 days to the third presidential elections, non-governmental electoral bodies warn that lack of a system to verify original ballots from the fake ones, would lead the contest to a crisis.

The Transparent Election Foundation of Afghanistan (TEFA), said Monday the Independent Election Commission has failed to prepare a mechanism for a clean registration list, saying that this explains lack of determination for the elections.

The third presidential elections are slated for September 28, with 18 people including incumbent president Ashraf Ghani competing to occupy the president post.

“The election commission has not yet prepared a mechanism to verify the voters. This can guarantee more than 60 per cent of transparency,” said Naeem Ayoubzada, head of the TEFA.

8.8 million people had registered to vote for the last October’s legislative elections, according the election commission. The figure was rejected as an imaginary figure by political parties.

Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah who is one of the runners for presidency, warns a fraudulent election would cause instability in the country.

“I once again emphasize on a transparent and just election. The fraudulent election can destabilize the country. The commission needs to be serious in this regard,” Abdullah said Monday.

The commission says that 450,000 people have so far registered at the empowering round of registration that includes Ghazni province as well. Parliamentary election was not held in Ghazni province due to unknown reasons.

“The scanning process of registration papers has begun and we are working together with the identification registration department to verify original ID cards from fake ones,” said Zabihullah Sadat, a spokesman of the commission.

The monitoring bodies say they are unauthorized by the election commission to supervise the registration process.

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