The Independent Election Commission (IEC) Chairman Gula Jan Abdulbadi Sayyad said on Saturday that they will extend the voter registration process if they feel an extension is necessary.
Speaking at an event in Kabul on women’s role in the elections process, Sayyad said in some parts of the country election materials were not delivered due to insecurity and the presence of powerful men.
He said because of this residents in these areas have not registered to vote in the upcoming parliamentary and district council elections.
The voter registration process ended on Friday and according to the election commission, so far over 8.6 million people have registered to vote across the country.
“In some districts either the materials arrived late, or there was no opportunity (to register), or the areas were under control of the insurgents or powerful men, and we could not register voters’ names. InshaAllah, the commission will make a decision in this regard to give these people an opportunity to use their legal right to vote. This is their right and they should not be deprived of it,” Sayyad said.
The registration process was carried out by the IEC in three phases. The first phase was in the provincial capitals and cities, the second phase was in district centers and the third phase was inremote areas and villages. However, in May, the IEC extended the voter registration process for a month in cities – this was due to low voter registration turnout.
The registration process in district centers and villages was also extended – for 10 days. But on Friday the registration process ended across the country.
In the meantime, the National Unity Government’s Chief Executive Officer Abdullah Abdullah said at the same event in Kabul that any negative, or positive, results from the elections will affect Afghanistan’s future generations.
Abdullah said the IEC was facing challenges as it had inherited a commission lacking reforms, but he said the IEC needs to bring about changes, reforms and to tackle their problems.
Abdullah also thanked the election commission for its efforts and everything it has done so far for elections.
“I thank the Independent Election Commission for its efforts. They were facing a problem. I can only say that they did not inherit a good system to start building a strong solid foundation on and then bring some minor reforms,” Abdullah said.
The upcoming parliamentary and district council elections will be held in October 20.