Election watchdogs have said there was no reason for the IEC to print so many stickers.
Concerns Raised Over ID Sticker Surplus and Distribution
The Independent Election Commission of Afghanistan (IEC) on Sunday said that the election management body is not worried about the wastage of the stickers or the misuse of them.
IEC officials said that the decision to paste stickers on ID cards had been decided based on the population, the interest of voters and a number of voter registration centers.
Meanwhile, a number of election monitoring groups have said that previous experience shows that more than seven million residents in the country will not participate in the elections.
“This is not logical to print over eighteen million stickers when there are not that many voters,” said Habibullah Shinwari, a member of Election Watch Afghanistan.
“You distribute fifteen million, sixteen million or seventeen million stickers and this creates concerns,” said Gul Ahmad Azimi, a senator
Election observers have also expressed surprise over the indiscriminate distribution of stickers.
The IEC has printed eighteen million stickers for the elections.
Election affairs experts have raised doubts over the distribution of nearly fifteen million stickers in the provinces.
According to the IEC, these stickers will be used both in the parliamentary and district council elections and the presidential elections.
“The system works in a way that tracks the number of booklets which have been distributed, and the data exists in the system,” Sayed Hafiz Hashimi, an IEC commissioner said.
The IEC argues that it has distributed the stickers after taking into consideration the number of people at each voter registration center and in line with the interests of the people.
“This time we have focused on three factors, the first factor involves our centers, second the population of the area and third participation of the people in the previous elections,” added Hashimi.
While the IEC insists that the sticker situation will not impact the credibility of the elections, a number of lawmakers in parliament have said that these stickers are being sold in the cities.