Officials from the Independent Election Commission of Afghanistan (IEC) on Monday said that no candidate has so far filed nomination papers to run for district council elections in at least 37 districts across the country.
The IEC also said that no women have filed nomination papers in 157 districts in 28 provinces.
IEC secretary Sayed Hafiz Hashemi however said that because of this the commission plans to extend the candidate nomination process for women.
Based on the law, there are 819 seats reserved for female candidates in the district councils. Only 422 female candidates have so far filed their nominations.
“The commission is assessing ways on how to tackle the issue of the low turnout of women in the district councils. The commission is also in touch with government to decide which way to addresss it and encourage women to come forward and register, more time will be given to them,” said Hashemi.
According to the IEC, no female candidates filed papers to run for district council elections in some districts in Paktia, Nangarhar, Kandahar, Herat, Helmand, Paktika, Farah, Faryab, Khost, Zabul, Uruzgan, Takhar, Jawzjan, Badakhshan, Baghlan, Ghor, Maidan Wardak, Logar, Kunduz, Kabul, Badghis, Parwan, Kapisa, Balkh, Nuristan, Sar-e-Pul, Nimroz and Sar-e-Pul provinces.
The IEC says that 6,151 candidates in total have so far filed nomination papers to run in the district council elections – for the 2,427 seats.
“They (IEC) created the calendar and then violated their own calendar by delaying the preliminary list of candidates. If the process moves at the same pace, we doubt there will be credible district council elections,” said Yousuf Rashid, CEO of FEFA.
Last month the IEC raised concerns over the lack of candidates registered to run in the upcoming district council elections and now, weeks later, it has been confirmed that not even a single candidate has filed nomination papers in a number of districts.