The Independent Election Commission (IEC) on Saturday officially launched the process for candidates to register for the upcoming parliamentary and district council elections.
IEC members announced the start of the process at a press conference in Kabul and said all preparations have been taken for holding the elections.
Based on the election law, the candidates for parliamentary and district council elections have to be citizens of Afghanistan, must not have a criminal background and should be at least 25 years old.
IEC chief Gula Jan Abdulbadi Sayyad said the parliamentary and district council elections will be held based on the former election law and that every province will be one electoral constituency.
“Our demand from government is that it should maintain its impartiality and it should deliver its promises on election security, finance and distribution of national identity cards. Meanwhile, government should help us in preventing fraud and punishing those who commit it,” Sayyad said.
Most of those who registered as parliamentary elections candidates in the first hours after the process started were from the young generation.
“We will show to the Afghan people that a new generation with new motivation and patriotism have come to the scene in order to restore the lost trust in the people’s house (parliament),” said Ajmal Balochzada, a candidate.
“We are here to serve the people and we are now part of this national process. We ask the people to participate in the election,” another candidate Ahmad Shekib Farahi said.
A number of people and politicians had asked the IEC to amend the election law and make the constituencies smaller. The IEC however, last week announced that the outline for making the constituencies smaller had been rejected by government.
The IEC chief in the meantime raised concerns over interference in election commission affairs and urged all influential figures, politicians and government to remain neutral in the upcoming elections.
The candidate registration process started amid the ongoing voter registration process and based on the election commission statistics, so far over three million voters have registered their names across the country.