The Independent Election Commission of Afghanistan (IEC) has decided to print more than 9.9 million ballot papers for the parliamentary elections in October.
“Considering the fact that over 9.1 million people have registered to vote, the commission has decided print 9.9 million ballot papers for 35 polling stations countrywide,” said Abdul Badi Sayyad, the IEC Chairman, as he addressed a press conference on Tuesday.
He said that the ballot papers will be printed abroad.
Based on IEC statistics, 9,009,000 Afghans have registered to vote across the country.
Sayyad said the commission has resumed work on data entry of voters and that it enters 300,000 to 400,000 names on the database on a daily basis. He said it has employed 810 people for this task.
“The commission has considered transparency based on which invalid names will be removed including duplicate registrations,” added Sayyad.
Meanwhile, political parties and political movements have reiterated the call for the use of a biometric system to be used on election day. They also blasted government for not finalizing the joint committee recently pledged by President Ashraf Ghani.
“Government’s view on that night (when political parties met with government officials) indicated that it wants to do the job itself and that the private companies should not be involved with the biometric system, but later we came to know that it (government) had also conducted talks with private companies. However, government’s main argument is that it wants to take over the management of the task which we believe is not relevant and it is not acceptable to us,” said Assadullah Saadati, a member of the political parties’ committee.
This comes after security forces on Saturday removed protesters tents from outside Kabul’s Independent Election Commission offices.
The tents had been set up outside the IEC after supporters of disqualified parliamentary election candidates embarked on a demonstration about two weeks ago.
In the past few weeks, supporters of disqualified candidates have held sit in protests outside a number of IEC offices around the country in protest against the disqualification of some candidates.
In addition however, political parties have warned they will embark on civil action from Saturday over what they claim is government’s failure to ensure transparency in the upcoming elections.