Electoral watchdog organizations said the upcoming elections will face serious problems if government continues to interfere in the Independent Election Commission’s (IEC) activities.
Another issue, the organizations say, is differing views among election commissioners on certain decisions.
“Decisions of the commission are made with a majority agreement. If the scheme (of stamping and adding a sticker to copies of ID cards) is accepted it will increase fraud,” said Fazl Ahmad Manawi, former IEC chief.
“Elections will head for a crisis if government’s interference continues,” he added.
Electoral watchdog organizations have also raised concerns about the elections being plunged into a crisis if government continues to interfere in the Independent Election Commission’s activities.
“Members of the (election) commission are unable to overcome their problems. They think about small issues and do not know that problems will affect elections and the voter registration process,” said Yusuf Rasheed, CEO of Free and Fair Election Foundation of Afghanistan.
“Government’s interference in the (election) commission and the internal problems between members of the institution will lead the election to a crisis. The main problem in this respect is government’s interference,” said Naeem Ayubzada, CEO of Transparent Election Foundation of Afghanistan.
On Sunday, the Independent Election Commission deputies and two commissioners said the decision to stamp copies of voter ID cards is illegal and that they are against the move.
The commissioners refused to talk on camera but said the decision was made by President Ashraf Ghani and IEC chief Abdul Badi Sayyad.
The commissioners said only Sayyad and another commissioner agreed to the decision, but they, the four commissioners, were opposed to the move.
IEC operational deputy head Wasima Badghisi, IEC financial and administrative deputy head Mazaaullah Dawlati, and IEC commissioners Abdul Qadir Quraishi and Maliha Hassan are the four commissioners who oppose the IEC chief and Ghani’s new decision regarding the voter registration process.
The four commissioners have signed a letter in which they said they are against the move. According to them, based on the election law the commission does not have the authority to shift or amend electoral approaches during the election process.
According to IEC statistics released on Tuesday, over 1,832,791 people have registered so far to vote in the elections.
Of these, 1,277,320 are men, 516,519 are women, 42,730 are Kuchis (Nomads) and 287 are Sikhs.
Kabul, with 656,197, has had the highest turnout of any city so far.