Insurgents Trying to Destabilize Elections: MoI
Minister of Interior Mohammad Omar Daudzai on Saturday cautioned foreign and Afghan officials that the Taliban insurgency is trying to destabilize the Presidential and Provincial Council elections set for April.
In a meeting with Police Chiefs from around the country, International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) personnel and other Afghan provincial security officials, Daudzai focused on election security. He said that less than 800 polling centres currently face insurgents threats. “Three months ago we discovered that more than 1200, or nearly 1400, polling centres were threatened, which was a very high number of high threats,” Daudzai said. “Now, it’s less than 800 and everyday it will reduce.”
The commander of the ISAf Joint Command, Gen. Mark Milley said “The Taliban, Haqqani, Al-Qaeda and all the other terrorists do not want that to happen,” in response to Daudzai’s expression of confidence. “They are going to do everything they can to deny the people of Afghanistan the right to freedom that they have earned.”
Last week, an updated security report delivered to the Independent Election Commission (IEC) said that over 90 percent of polling centers would be open on election day. Officials of the IEC have called on security institutions to help bolster public confidence in the security of the upcoming elections.
In the report, security officials said only 414 of 6,845 total polling stations nationwide were under serious security threat.
One of the biggest fears heading into April is that insecurity around the country could keep voters from turning up to the polls or open the door to manipulation and fraud. For the elections to be successful, the perception of security is nearly as important to their credibility as actual security is.
However, the IEC last week also cautioned security officials about their optimistic report on the conditions of the polling centers, a caution Daudzai clearly did not heed. (ToloNews)