Officials from the Independent Election Commission of Afghanistan (IEC) on Thursday said that recent data shows over 1.9 million people across Afghanistan have registered their names to vote ahead of October elections.
Meanwhile election observers and monitoring groups have welcomed the resolution of tension between members of the IEC and its chief over the stamping of copies of identity cards, saying the four IEC commissioners who opposed the plan in fact had legitimate concerns.
IEC announced on Wednesday that it has scrapped the decision to stamp copies of voter identity cards.
The commission said in a statement that it has decided to stamp original identity cards of voters to allow them to cast their votes in the coming elections in the country.
To ensure safety of voters, the commission asks voters to visit a population registration office and get an original copy of their ID cards so that it can be stamped at voter registration centers, a statement sent to TOLOnews by an IEC member read.
“Any alternative except stamping the original identity cards will pave the way for large scale fraud, therefore, the citizens are urged to stamp their original ID cards while applying to vote,” said Maazullah Dawlati, an IEC commissioner.
Officials from Afghan Central Civil Registration Authority (ACCRA) have said that those citizens who are facing security problems can consult ACCRA to take another original copy of their ID card.
Observers have urged IEC members to not be influenced by government.
“The decision of the four members (IEC members) is a legal decision, the commission undertakes its decision with a majority, they should not be influenced by government pressure,” said former IEC chief Fazel Ahmad Manavi.
“Whenever there is tension in the commission, we can expect fair and transparent elections,” said Yousuf Rashid, head of FEFA.
An MP Abdul Wali Niazi meanwhile added: “Members of the commission are confused, I don’t think that we will have credible elections.”
Meanwhile residents in Kabul have also called on the election management body of the country to work hard to ensure that the elections are held in a fair, free and legitimate way.
“We have explained the significance of elections to the public from mosques and other social council platforms, we have asked the people to vote in the elections,” the head of social council of Khawja Rawash township in Kabul Habiburrahman Kohistani said.
“Youths should cast their votes for educated candidates and should not sell their identities in exchange for 500 or 1000 Afs,” said a resident of Kabul Khalid Saberi.
“Whatever it takes, we must participate in the elections,” another resident Bahram Adalat said.