IEC officials have said 14 districts in Ghazni face security threats and only three districts are stable in terms of security.
Ghazni Residents Petition IEC To Change Constituencies
The Independent Election Commission of Afghanistan (IEC) on Thursday said that it had referred a petition by Ghazni residents, calling for smaller electoral constituencies, to the Presidential Palace.
The IEC urged government to find an acceptable resolution to the issue.
According to the IEC, up to now, 4.3 million people have registered across Afghanistan to vote in the elections. Of this, 25 percent are women.
The commission however raised concerns over the low turnout of women who registered to vote in elections.
“Reducing the number of electoral constituencies was one of the key and fundamental demands of the people, but maintaining security and retaking the districts under Taliban control are out of the authority of the commission, therefore we referred the issue to the office of the president and we expect that the Presidential Palace kindly engages in talks with the people regarding the issue,” the IEC spokesman Sayed Hafiz Hashimi said.
Fourteen districts are currently under threat in the province and only Nahor, Malistan and Jaghori districts are stable in terms of security.
Election materials so far have not been delivered to all districts in Ghazni.
“Discussions will held and we will see what is the resolution, based on the law; the issue to make constituencies smaller is excluded and lets see what other options exist to find a settlement to the public problem,” IEC commissioner Maazullah Dawlati said.
“We expect that they tackle the situation with accuracy and patience, otherwise, social, political and technical damage will spread across the country, said Yousuf Rashid, CEO of Free and Fair Election Forum of Afghanistan (FEFA).
Meanwhile, Lt. Col. Martin O'Donnell, a spokesman for the US-led coalition in Afghanistan has pledged that the foreign forces in the country will also cooperate in maintaining election security.
“We continue to be in a position of support to them (ANSF). So we haven’t been asked for direct support with regards to the elections, we are again optimistic about four million voters registered right now, I think the latest numbers that the independent electoral commission has announced. So we are seeing progress now and we will stand by our Afghan partners,” said Martin O'Donnell
The IEC sent its proposal about the constituency issue a year ago to government. But government rejected the plan two weeks ago saying that the time to implement the plan had expired.
The commission has scheduled parliamentary and district council elections for October 20.