The Independent Election Commission (IEC) on Friday said government has assured them that their offices which are closed by supporters of a number of disqualified candidates in a number of provinces will be opened the next week.
Discussions are ongoing between government and supporters of a number of disqualified candidates to encourage them to end their protests against offices of the commission, said Hafizullah Hashemi, an IEC commissioner.
He said the candidates list is final and that no changes will happen in it.
The commission in collaboration with the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) will print 10 million ballot papers in the United Arab Emirates, he said.
“In the beginning of the coming week, they (government) will open our offices and will collect the tents. This belongs to them (government and disqualified candidates) that how they agree to collect the tents and open the offices,” said Hashemi.
The Interior Minister Wais Ahmad Barmak meanwhile said protest is a legal right of every citizen, but when such protest creates problems for national programs, the protesters will be treated according to the law.
“Our negotiations are ongoing with (disqualified) candidates who are protesting. We hope this will resolve through talks, otherwise, as the law of strikes and protests has said where to hold protest, we will be forced to treat them according to the law,” said Barmak.
Following the announcement of the names of disqualified candidates by the IEC, supporters of a number of candidates closed election commission offices in Kabul and 10 other provinces at least two weeks ago.
A number of disqualified candidates on Friday warned that they will continue their protests unless the election commission accepts their demands.
“They (IEC) has oppressed and taken out names of candidates from the list and wants to start a ‘bloodshed’. We are ready for such a ‘bloodshed’,” said Qais Hassan, a disqualified candidate.
The election commission says that because of the closure of its offices, they have failed to prepare the list of eligible voters for related polling stations and also have been unable to start recruitment of employees for Election Day that was expected to start last Saturday.