The Independent Election Commission of Afghanistan (IEC) on Sunday announced that it has started the voter registration process in villages across Afghanistan and that the campaign will continue until July 6.
The IEC stated meanwhile that 5,781,183 people have registered in the country so far to vote.
Of these, 3,789,033 are males, 1,879,374 are females, 112256 are Kuchis and 520 are Sikhs.
According to the IEC, up to now more than 1,100 people have filed nomination papers as candidates for parliamentary elections and another 690 for provincial council seats.
Based on the IEC’s statistics, the commission has 2,887 voter registration centers in villages, however election material so far has not been delivered to at least 1,000 centers in these villages.
“Unlike the second phase, this time we managed to deliver the material easily to the district centers, election material was delivered to most of the centers in the first day except some limited centers which are insecure,” said IEC commissioner Sayed Hafiz Hashimi.
In the second phase, the IEC however was not able to open voter registration centers in Dai Chopan district of Zabul, Marjah district of southern Helmand province, Geyan district of Paktika, Kohistan district of northern Badakhshan province and Khas district of Uruzgan.
The IEC has also called on government to step up the process of resolving the election crisis in Ghazni - before Eid-al-Fitr - so that the election management body’s central office in the province can open. Only a few voter registration centers are open in Ghazni city.
“We do not endorse zone-based elections, this would be very difficult, but there is the possibility of delaying elections in Ghazni,” said Hashimi.
In addition, Ambassador Pierre Mayaudon, the European Union Head of Delegation to Afghanistan, said that there were encouraging signals around the election process so far.
"If you consider the electoral process, again I would say that it cannot be separated from the peace process. Timely, credible elections this year, next year, are critical for the success of peace process, if you ask me now about the recent developments, I would say that there are some encouraging signals. The fact that we have I think crossed today the bulk of six million registered voters is extremely encouraging,” he said.
“At the same time of course, we know of some weaknesses of the overall institutional apparatus that is in charge of the election not least in the IEC … So all the action of the international community is driven by a sense of being partners,” added Mayaudon.
According to the IEC, over 5,100 people, including 240 women, have received handbooks for district council elections while another 3,090 people, including 430 women, have received handbooks for parliamentary elections.
The IEC has extended the nomination deadline until June 14.