IEC says thousands of voters in the province have not yet been able to register due to insecurity.
Insecurity Affects Nangarhar Voter Registration Process
Many of those eligible to vote in the October elections in Nangarhar have been unable to register due to insecurity, officials said on Saturday.
The provincial office of the Independent Election Commission (IEC) said one million stickers were allocated to Nangarhar but 200,000 of them have not been used.
The IEC said so far 792,082 people registered to vote in the eastern province, while the total countrywide was 8.9 million.
The voter registration process started on April 14.
Nangarhar residents who have been unable to register are mostly from four districts, Khogyani, Shirzad, Pachiragam and Hisarak, said the head of the IEC’s office in Nangarhar, Zabihullah Wagari.
“People’s participation is a key element for elections. We will talk with the election commission’s central office and will decide on the remaining stickers and see if government forces will ensure the safety of those areas and make sure that people will be able to register freely,” Wagari said.
Some of the affected residents meanwhile called on government to make it possible for them to register.
“We ask government to ensure the safety of voter registration centers in Nangarhar,” said Hamidullah Mashkoor, a resident of Nangarhar.
“It is good that voter registration centers are secure because we want to register to vote,” said Ziarmal, another resident of the province.
During the voter registration process, 57 out of 457 voter registration centers were closed in the province, IEC officials said.
This comes after the IEC extended the voter registration process in a number of provinces last week. Nangarhar was one of those on the list.
On Wednesday the IEC said it had decided to extend the voter registration process in some provinces, from 11-18 July, in order to ensure that all Afghans eligible to vote have registered.
A list published by the IEC on its social media platforms shows the names of 18 provinces including Kandahar, Nuristan, Nangarhar, Uruzgan, Zabul, Badghis, Logar, Helmand, Faryab, Samangan, Balkh, Kunduz, Paktia, Khost, Badakhshan, Baghlan, Takhar and Herat where the process has been extended.
This extension involves 109 centers.
According to the IEC, the reason for their decision was based on security. They said these centers had faced serious security threats.