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Watchdog alarmed over slow voter registration

AT-KABUL: A leading electoral watchdog has raised concerns over the voter registration process that has hit snags since its inception a week ago.

Election and Transparency Watch Organization of Afghanistan (ETWA) warned on Saturday that the voter registration for the forthcoming parliament and district council elections was moving quite slowly as the public turnout was all time low.

The watchdog in a statement said the insurgents constantly attacked voter registration centers in Ghor and Badghis and two policemen were protecting voter registration centers in Jalalabad city of Nangarhar. The organization believed that improper logistic and security arrangements of the government and its election body have been the reason behind a lagging voter registration.

The watchdog recommended awareness programs be devised, political parties and civil societies be encouraged to support the campaign, public trust be gained, facilities for voter registration be bolstered, religious and tribal elders be inspired to foster public participation in the registration process.

The voter registration process will be carried out in three phases; the first phase starting on 14th April at provincial capitals will continue up to 13th May; Second phase will start on 15th to 28th May in the center of the provincial districts; and Third phase will start on 30th May to continue up to 12th June 2018 in villages. Holding an ID card and age of 18 are the only requirements to register for elections.

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