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Watchdogs scorn ad hoc launch of candidate registration

AT-KABUL: Some electoral monitoring organizations blamed the independent election commission for launching registration process of candidates for the October election without informing people before about their backgrounds.

The candidates’ registration process kicked off on Saturday. The electoral monitor bodies say that the election commission should have people with full information about the candidates before launching the registration process.

Legislative election is due to be held in October, in which, people will elect 249 people for the parliament’s lower house.

Yousuf Rashid, chief executive of the Free and Fair Election Forum of Afghanistan (FEFA), said Monday that the election commission this time has started registration process without pre-information, unlike the past times that had informed people about the candidates before registering them.

“This is unfortunately a wrong job. In the past, the commission allocated one week for providing primary information for the people interested in voting. The candidate registration process was held after information. This time, the registration process began without information. This makes big problems for both people and candidates especially candidates of the district councils,” Rashid said.

He criticized that the number of seats for district council was not clear yet and the election commission was not ready to clarify that. “This wastes time of the commission staff in probing documents of the candidates.”

The commission said that 1,240 people had registered as candidates to the parliament, while 500 ones had applied for the district councils.

It assured that the candidates’ registration process had begun with fully preparations.SayedHafizullahHashemi, commissioner of the commission said that information about candidates had been already provided through the commission’s website.

“We will have a different election this time. I accept that the candidates’ registration process began without pre-information about candidates through media, but we have put all information about them in the website of the commission, in which the details of process has been also explained,” said Hashemi.

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