IEC Concerned at Govt Officials’ Interference
KABUL – The Independent Election Commission (IEC) on Monday voiced concern over government servants’ participation in the election campaign, saying necessary materials could not be transported to some restive areas. Addressing a seminar on the role of religious scholars and tribal elders in the election process, IEC Secretary Ziaul Haq Amarkhel said preparations were in place to hold the vote on schedule.
He added election materials had been transported to provincial offices, from where they would be sent soon to district centers. He explained polling stations would not be opened in insecure areas. Fraud in the previous election had taken place in the areas where observers could not go due to the poor security situation, he recalled. IEC and security organs are jointly are trying to determine areas under major security threat.
Previously, the commission said 390 polling stations across the country were under high security threat. “With the 2009 experience in mind, IEC will take serious measures to prevent fraud and irregularities in the coming April 5 election,” Amarkhel continued. He asked government officials to respect presidential orders preventing their interference in election affairs.
“We recently saw some officials taking part in the campaign, an issue of concern to the IEC,” he said, urging the government to address the problem of official resources used for candidates. At a news conference in Kabul, presidential runner Ashraf Ghani’s team accused the governor of southeastern Paktia province of supporting Zalmai Rassoul. (Pajhwok)