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‘No mechanism to ensure poll’s transparency’

AT News Report

KABUL: A number of election observers on Tuesday in a joint gathering have lamented over lack of clear mechanism within electoral body to ensure transparency in the upcoming presidential elections.

As the presidential poll draws closer, the electoral watchdog’s express grave concerns regarding the democratic process and accuse the Independent Election Commission (IEC) of dereliction of duty.

Mohammad Naeem Ayoubzada, head of the Transparent Election Foundation of Afghanistan (TEFA), said the IEC had been so far unable to provide the voters’ list, as well as it had done nothing to differentiate between counterfeit and original ballot papers.

“They have dealt with the election process in a superficial manner so far. The forthcoming election is unacceptable to us due to a few reasons we have found following our assessment,” he said.

“We advise that the voters’ list be presented, the fake ballots segregated from real ones, and the names of those imaginary people whose names are there but they don’t exist be identified.”

Another reason cited to have made the watchdogs apprehensive is that the IEC lacks a system and hasn’t specified what methods would be employed in managing and making use of biometric technology in the election.

Meanwhile, the Free and Fair Election Forum of Afghanistan (FEFA) also said there was little interest from the international community with regard to the conduct of presidential election this time and “a crisis looms large if this situation continues.”

On the other hand, the IEC called these concerns as unjustified, adding that currently work on telling apart the fake ballots from real ones was ongoing and the voters’ list would be announced in the next two days.

Zabih Sadaat, deputy spokesman for IEC, said: “The commission moves ahead in line with the schedule step by step for conducting the poll. We haven’t fallen behind schedule so far. The registered voters’ list will be announced in two days’ time.”  

Moreover, the body accused election monitors of not providing assistance in the election process, saying instead of making such allegations, they should work in collaboration with the commission.

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