The Independent Election Commission’s (IEC) office was reopened in Badakhshan province in a mission by government forces on Wednesday.
The offices were closed for 20 days after some candidates from the province were disqualified from running for parliamentary elections.
Those who protested against the commission were supporters of Fawzia Kofi and Mariam Kofi, MPs from Badakhshan and Takhar. The supporters of the two lawmakers held sit-in protest outside IEC office in Faizabad, the capital city of Badakhshan.
“Fawzia Kofi’s supporters held a gathering (on Wednesday) where they issued a declaration and allowed the commission’s office to be reopened,” Badakhshan Police Chief Saber Aryan said.
He said the protest was a civic move and that protestors cooperated well with the provincial police. “I thank the protestors for their cooperation over the past 19 days,” the police chief said.
Some protestors meanwhile said they have given a one-week deadline to government to address their demand on bringing back the disqualified candidates into the list. They said they will close governor’s office if their demand was not addressed.
“We held a sit-in protest outside the IEC office and closed it for almost 20 days but this move did not yield any result. As an alternative, we have set a one-week deadline to local government to address our demand; otherwise, we will expand our protests and as a next move will close highways or (Badakhshan) governor’s office” said Shajan Kofi, a protester.
“We will boycott elections in Badakhshan if our demands were not met,” said Friba, a protester.
The IEC officials in Badakhshan welcomed the move by security forces but said their activities have postponed due to the closure of their office over the last 20 days.
This comes after IEC offices were reopened after government forces removed protestors’ tents outside the election commission’s offices in the city.
The IEC chief Abdulbadi Sayyad said they have resumed their activities after their offices reopened in Kabul.