MPs Say Security Worse, Worried About Elections
Kabul- Lawmakers on Saturday spoke out about security conditions around the country, which they said were deteriorating, and suggested drastic steps need to be taken to address the trend if there is any hope for the elections.
Security is well-known as one of the critical pieces of the puzzle for the upcoming Presidential and Provincial Council elections, which come the same year as the NATO coalition withdraw. The spotted history of electoral legitimacy in Afghanistan only fuels further anxiety about what the April vote could look like if proper oversight is not established. “Based on information from our own provinces, the security is bad,” MP Sayed Nader Shah Bahr said. “Right now, the government controls only the district centers, but the rest of the districts are governed by insurgents.” “It is obvious that the security situation is getting worse every day and the government is out of plans for addressing it,” MP NiloofarIbrahimi said.
For months, now, security has been a top priority for election officials. Many fear that insecurity around the country could keep Afghans from going to the poll, and in rural areas, it could open the door to fraud and other improprieties. Some have even suggested security issues could derail the election timeline and force officials to delay the vote.
“We demand that the security organizations do more to provide security for the elections, complacency would be everyone’s loss,” MP Bashir Ahmad Tayang said.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Interior (MoI) reported that the results of its comprehensive election security assessment would soon be presented to the Independent Election Commission (IEC).
“We have our plans for election security,” MoI spokesman SediqSediqi said. “The Afghan National Police will do anything to ensure security is set for the election.”
Residents of Kabul have seen a number of attacks in what is normally the relatively peaceful and secure capital over the past couple weeks. “We are asking the security forces to do more for security, because the suitition has become bad in recent days,” a Kabul resident told TOLOnews.
Just earlier this week, the U.S. Embassy was targeted by a Taliban rocket attack in downtown Kabul.
Although the capital will likely be locked down sufficiently for the elections in April, the recent surge in violence does not bode well for the rest of the country, where there remain a number of districts our of reach for security forces. (ToloNews)