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70 Registration Centres Closed in Paktia

An Afghan woman counts ballot papers after polling stations close at a polling centre in Herat

GARDEZ -Around 70 voter registration centres have been closed due to insecurity in several of districts of southern Paktia province, an official said on Sunday.

Independent Election Commission (IEC) chief for the province, Amir Hamza Ahmadzai, told Pajhwok Afghan News the registration centres had been closed in Zadran, Garda Serai, Shawak, Janikhel, Samkani and Zurmat. He claimed the provincial IEC had shared a list of the voter registration centres a few months ago with security organs. But the authorities concerned they could not provide security for the centres.

Closing the registration centers could deprive a large number of people of their franchise right in next year’s presidential and provincial council elections, Ahmadzai warned.

Not satisfied with the current situation situations, residents of the restive border province said shutting the registration centres would raise questions the elections’ credibility. Abdul Hakim, hailing from Zurmat district, said thousands of voters would be affected by the closure of the registration centres. Hakim asked the government to maintain security in the districts.

Paktia police chief, Brig. Gen. Zalmai Oryakhel, said the districts were still under threat, but security forces were working together for paving the ground for a peaceful registration process. (PAN)

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